Knowledge is power

In the first initiative of its kind, THIRST has created this knowledge hub in order to bring together all of the valuable resources regarding the treatment of workers in the tea industry that are scattered all over the internet. We’re always trying to expand our knowledge hub. If you know of, or have created, any other relevant resources that should be included in this collection please contact us.


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Corporate Responsibility for Human Rights in Assam Tea Plantations

Report
Date of publication:
2020
Published by:
Wageningen University & Research
Geography:
Assam
,
India
Topic:
Discrimination (not gender)
,
Forced Labour
,
Multiple
,
Wages
This paper explores how UK-based companies deal with their responsibility to respect the human rights of Assam (India) tea plantations workers. Using publicly available corporate reports and other documents, it investigates how companies approach and communicate their potential human rights impacts. It highlights the gap between well-documents human rights issues on the ground and corporate reports on these issues. It aims to answer the following research question: in a context where the existence of human rights violations at the end of the supply chain is well-documented, how do companies reconcile their possible connection with those violations and the corporate responsibility to respect human rights under the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and HUman Rights? The paper reveals the weakness of the current CSR approach from the perspective of rights-holders. It supports a business and human rights approach, one that places the protection of human rights at its core.

Countries Where Tea is Reportedly Produced with Forced Labor and/or Child Labor

Website
Date of publication:
Published by:
Verité
Geography:
Worldwide
Topic:
Child Labour
Verité provides this well-sourced web page, including details of reported child and forced labour in several tea producing countries, and explores what trafficking and/or child labor look like in the production of tea, and what governments, corporations, and others are doing to address the issue.

COVID-19: Financial Package For The Tea Industry

Report
Date of publication:
2020
Published by:
Indian Tea Association
Geography:
Assam
,
India
Topic:
Wages
The tea industry has been going through an economic crisis over the last few years. Tea prices have remained stagnant while costs have continued to increase, both for inputs and wages. Added to this, COVID-19 will have a huge negative impact on the financial condition of the industry. The tea industry requires a Financial Relief Package to tide over the crisis. The Consultative Committee of Plantation Associations looks at some interventions which are placed for the Hon'ble Government of India's consideraiton.

Creating Sustainable Value Chains

Report
Date of publication:
Published by:
Forum for the Future
Geography:
Worldwide
Topic:
Small tea growers
This document describes the case for action for piloting and scaling alternative business models that have the potential to distribute value in more equitable ways. It provides a summary of the main failures of the current business models, the problems they create across agricultural commodities, the need for system level change, and highlights additional enabling factors for driving transformational change. This case for action serves as a foundation to the Sustainable value chains – case study series, which Forum for the Future is curating in partnership with other organisations in order to promote cross-commodity learning on alternative business models in tea, coffee, cotton and beyond. The case study series is intended as a useful resource for those planning, or already undertaking, work to test different business models. The lessons learnt have the potential to inform other projects addressing similar challenges, and ultimately accelerate the change that is needed.

Emerging Trends in Tea Consumption: Informing a Generic Promotion Process

Report
Date of publication:
2018
Published by:
Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
Geography:
Worldwide
Topic:
Multiple
This document aims to encourage a discussion on generic tea promotion initiatives and to inform related policy efforts. It is composed of five main sections. The overview in Section I is followed, in Section II, by a description of the 'Tea markets: main trends and consumption renewal.' Section II also provides an analysis of recent developments in the te market with a focus on emerging consumption trends. Section III discusses 'Untapped opportunities on the tea market at individual country and global levels'. Section IV calls for 'Harnessing untapped opportunities through investing in a tea generic promotion strategy'. Section V concludes the paper with an overview of 'Major concerns on generic promotion: funding, benefits and sustainability.' The data used in this CRS are based on the FAO Intergovernmental Group on Tea (IGG-Tea) database as well as other sources providing market intelligence for global and local tea markets.

Empowering Women in Kenya's Tea Sector

Tools
Date of publication:
2015
Published by:
BSR
Geography:
Africa
,
Kenya
Topic:
Wages
,
Women
Smallholder farmers play an increasingly important role in global supply chains. They make up an estimated 90 percent of the world’s farmers and will be essential to meeting our growing global demands for food. Companies that work with smallholders have a business opportunity and an imperative to support the productivity and sustainable livelihoods of smallholders in their supply chain, thereby contributing to inclusive economic growth. This working paper presents BSR’s proposed approach for expanding and adapting HERproject, our workplace-based women’s empowerment program, to meet the unique needs of smallholder farmers. It also establishes a set of implementation principles for companies interested in applying HERproject or similar training programs with smallholder farmers in their supply chains.

Equalitea – Small Tea Growers Programme

Initiative
Date of publication:
Published by:
Traidcraft
Geography:
Bangladesh
Topic:
Small tea growers
Our EqualiTEA programme works with smallholder tea growing families living in rural and often very isolated areas. Through a combination of technical training, encouraging tea growers to work together and providing a vital support network, the project team are working hard to transform lives and make the tea sector profitable for even the most disadvantaged farming families. We’ve been working to expand our work in India and keep reaching more smallholder tea growers. In Bangladesh our work is more pioneering – tea growing is relatively new to Bangladeshi farmers and there is a growing domestic market. We initially set up around 1,000 new tea growers in Bangladesh, but we’re now expanding the programme to help even more smallholder farmers earn a fair income in the tea sector. This programme is benefiting about 170,000 people.

Ethical Tea Partnership

Organisation
Date of publication:
Published by:
Geography:
Worldwide
Topic:
Other
The Ethical Tea Partnership (ETP) is a not for profit organisation whose members are companies involved in the sourcing, trading or packing of tea and also include retailers. It convenes the tea industry, development partners, NGOs and governments to improve the lives of tea workers, farmers and the environment in which they live and work.

ETI: Guide to Buying Responsibly

Tools
Date of publication:
2017
Published by:
Ethical Trading Initiative
Geography:
Worldwide
Topic:
Other
Guidance for companies on purchasing practices, drawing on the findings of a collaborative supplier survey run in partnership between the joint ethical trading initiatives and the ILO, with support from SEDEX. The guide includes best practice examples and outlines the five key business practices that influence wages and working conditions.

Fine Teas for Starvation Wages – Tea exports from Darjeeling to Germany

Report
Date of publication:
2019
Published by:
Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung
Geography:
India
,
South Asia
,
W Bengal - Darjeeling
Topic:
Wages
German importers are of central importance for tea producers in Darjeeling in the state of West Bengal, northern India. Companies such as the Ostfriesische Tee Gesellschaft (OTG), Teekampagne, TeeGschwendner, and others purchase roughly a quarter of the region’s yearly tea output. In addition, they are the most important buyers of the early tea harvests (first flush and second flush), which command the highest prices. Hamburg is Europe’s central shipping terminal for tea, with almost half of all tea imports into Germany re-exported out of Germany at a high price. The price margins along the tea supply chain from Darjeeling to Germany are extremely disparate. A calculation by a German tea importer in the top price bracket (market segment A) for loose-leaf tea shows that only around 30 percent of the shelf price remains in India, with a maximum of 22 percent making it to the company that operates the plantation. The tea pluckers receive the equivalent of between 1.4 percent and 2.8 percent of the tea’s retail price in Germany.