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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The Story of Tea Workers in Bangladesh

Books
Date of publication:
2009
Published by:
Society for Environment and Human Development
Geography:
Bangladesh
Topic:
Forced Labour
,
Housing
,
Wages
This book is about the tea plantation workers in Bangladesh. However, the genesis of tea cultivation in what is now Bangladesh, its growth, ownership, rights of the tea workers and their struggle for legitimate demands, the use of land granted for tea cultivation and different trends have also been featured to help understand the conditions in which the indentured tea plantation workers have been confined. The laborers who keep the tea industry alive are not locals. The British companies brought them from different States of India about 150 years back. These workers belonging to many ethnic identities cleared jungles, planted and tended tea saplings, planted shade trees, and built luxurious bungalows for the tea planters. But they had their destiny tied to their huts in the ‘labor lines’ that they built themselves. They continue to remain as people without choice and entitlement to property. Also available in Bangla.

The True Price of Tea from Kenya

Report
Date of publication:
2016
Published by:
IDH
Geography:
Kenya
Topic:
Child Labour
,
Forced Labour
,
Wages
,
Water and Sanitation
Kenya is the third largest tea producing country in the world. About 10% of the global tea production comes from Kenya. For Kenya itself, this represents approximately 25% of its total agricultural export income. Tea production in Kenya is predominantly in the ownership of smallholders. Around 550.000 smallholders produce 60% of the total tea production of the country. Many societal costs occur during production, such as use of scarce water and forced adult and child labour. This study shows that the majority of the external costs of conventional tea cultivation exists of social costs (79%), of which 29% are due to underpayment of hired and family workers.

The Truth About Tea

Initiative
Date of publication:
Published by:
Oxfam
Geography:
Assam
,
India
Topic:
Casualisation
,
Discrimination (not gender)
,
Forced Labour
,
Freedom of Association
,
Health
,
Housing
,
Nutrition
,
Wages
,
Water and Sanitation
,
Women
Oxfam India’s awareness-raising campaign about conditions for Assam tea workers. The campaign is part of Oxfam's global Behind the Barcodes campaign raising awareness and calling on supermarkets to improve their human rights policies so that workers in their global supply chains have decent lives and livelihoods. The Oxfam report Addressing the Human Cost of Assam Tea provides the data on which the campaign is based.

The Wood Foundation Africa – Rwanda

Organisation
Date of publication:
Published by:
Geography:
Rwanda
Topic:
Small tea growers
The Wood Foundation Africa (TWFA), in conjunction with its funding partners, is now considered the leading venture philanthropist in the tea industry in East Africa. In Rwanda TWFA is helping to achieve systemic and sustainable change for the tea industry through its Imbarutso project, and now works in partnership with 17,000 smallholder tea farmers. Imbarutso is an industry-level tea programme to bolster competitiveness of the tea industry in Rwanda and ensure that smallholders benefit from its growth. Imbarutso works with government, the private sector, cooperatives, and smallholder farmers to improve smallholder productivity and boost farmers’ margins.

Towards an Alternative Indian Tea Economy. Examples of Producer Cooperatives from Darjeeling

Website
Date of publication:
2020
Published by:
Economic and Political Weekly Journal
Geography:
India
,
W Bengal - Darjeeling
Topic:
Small tea growers
The Indian tea economy is undergoing acute transformations, with the divestment of tea companies from plantations leaving thousands of plantation workers jobless and small tea growers struggling with a general lack of knowledge and dependency on bought leaf factories and intermediaries. A review of the current trends in the Indian tea market and two alternatives sites Darjeeling indicates the potential of solitary enterprises. Also, it exposes the difficulties these groups face to emancipate themselves from the colonial-style tea companies.

Trouble Brewing: Pesticide Residues in Tea Samples from India

Report
Date of publication:
2014
Published by:
Greenpeace India Society
Geography:
India
Topic:
Certification
,
Climate
An investigation carried out by Greenpeace India has found residues of hazardous chemical pesticides in a majority of samples of the main brands of packaged tea produced and consumed in India. Over half of the samples contained pesticides that are 'unapproved' for use in tea cultivation of which were present in excess of recommended limits. The results indicate that the cultivation of tea in India continues to rely on of the use o a diverse range of pesticides, consistent with previous analyses of pesticide residues in tea produced in India. This dependency on pesticides is an inherent part of the current system of industrial agriculture and in the cultivation of tea in other countries.

Understanding Wage Issues in the Tea Industry

Report
Date of publication:
2013
Published by:
Oxfam
Geography:
India
,
Indonesia
,
Malawi
Topic:
Wages
Reports by civil society organisations… have highlighted the issue of low wages and excessive working hours in the supply chains of a range of commodities and manufactured items, including tea. They argue that corporate compliance programmes and product certification schemes have achieved only limited reach to the root causes of supply chain problems, including low wages, and many have called for a Living Wage for workers… Oxfam and the Ethical Tea Partnership (ETP), a not-for-profit member organization of tea companies committed to improving the lives of tea workers and their environment, initiated a project in 2010 to increase understanding of wages in the tea sector, and to use this as a basis for constructive dialogue in the future.

Up-Country Tamils: Charting A New Future in Sri Lanka

Books
Date of publication:
2019
Published by:
International Centre for Ethnic Studies
Geography:
Sri Lanka
Topic:
Multiple
The International Centre for Ethnic Studies is pleased to share with you the digital version of its latest publication-country Tamils: Charting a New Future in Sri Lanka. This book emerged from a conference organized by ICES in August 2017 which brought together a broad range of scholars and practitioners who have been researching and working on the area with an aim to enhance understanding of the issues and challenges on the subject and generate recommendations for law, policy and practice. The book addresses the many problems that Up-country Tamils face in contemporary Sri Lanka, politically, economically and socially, as well as the historical origins and structural determinants of their current predicament. The individual chapter authors pay particular attention to the changes that have taken place for Up-country Tamils since 2009 and their implications for the future of the community.

Vulnerability and Risk Assessment in the Tea Industry

Report
Date of publication:
2016
Published by:
Malawi Tea 2020
Geography:
Africa
,
Malawi
Topic:
Small tea growers
,
Wages
In June 2016, Oxfam conducted a Vulnerability and Risk Assessment (VRA) exercise in Mulanje, Southern Malawi, in the context of the Malawi2020 Tea Revitalization Programme (Malawi2020). This programme aims to achieve a competitive, profitable tea industry that can provide living wages and incomes for its workers by 2020. The VRA sought to address the key hazards and issues affecting people and stakeholders in the tea-growing landscape of SOuthern Malawi, bringing together a wide range of stakeholders such as national governments representatives, estate managers, union delegates and unskiled tea industry workers. It analysed the mains issues facing the tea industry and the people involved in it, then drafted suggestions to reduce the risks they face and provide further inputs into the Malawi2020 Roadmap.

Who picked my tea?

Initiative
Date of publication:
Published by:
Traidcraft
Geography:
Assam
,
India
Topic:
Forced Labour
,
Freedom of Association
,
Health
,
Housing
,
Nutrition
,
Wages
,
Water and Sanitation
,
Women
Traidcraft Exchange’s successful campaign to persuade UK tea brands to publicise which estates they source their Assam tea from. Traidcraft Exchange brings people together, to fight injustice in trade. It's Traidcraft's mission to challenge the way global trade works - to use the power of trade to create lasting solutions to poverty.