Unless its glorious past during the Soviet Union, the Georgian tea sector rebounded in the late 1990s and early 2000s, yet only partially as the economic and political stability of the post-independence period left a mark on the overall productivity of the sector.
Today, the sector could play a role in alleviating rural poverty in western Georgia by providing families with steady jobs and livelihoods if it will be revived. The Georgian government and donor communities aim to support this sector and the tea cooperative development is one of the ways chosen by them.
According to this study, the cooperatives could benefit the most if they focus on high-quality tea production (e.g., organic tea). Also, tea cooperatives (and their members) could benefit more if they invest in proper branding, marketing, and promotion at the second level of cooperation.
Since September 2014, the ISET Policy Institute has been working with the German Economic Team (GET). In May 2015 ISET-PI and GET extended their partnership and began working on a variety of policy briefs for Georgia's industrial development. These briefs will simultaneously advance research in the sector and provide the Georgian government a set of guidelines for the development of its own policy, exploring where Georgia's comparative advantages lie. The German Economic Team is a consulting group who provides advisory services to the Georgian government on economic policy and is supported by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy.