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Certified Unilever tea : small cup, big difference?

Document type: report
Download file(s): 343801 (463 KB)
Abstract: In response to growing concerns voiced by civil society organisations regarding the precarious working conditions of the millions of tea workers worldwide, multinational tea packers, such as Unilever, who dominates this sector, are increasingly relying on sustainability standard systems, such as Rainforest Alliance, Utz Certified and Fairtrade, which are generally seen as best industry practice. This study wanted to find out whether working conditions on large tea estates that have achieved RA certification and supply Unilever are truly decent. To this end one hundred tea workers were interviewed on a total of eight tea plantation companies, all supplying tea to Unilever. Seven of these plantations are located in India and the remaining plantation concerns Unilevers own tea plantation in Kenya. The study calls for more independent research on the impact of standard systems to get a better grip on how they are effective or not, and why this is so. It also recommends that RA and the companies that are working with RA should conduct more due diligence by properly investigating the problem areas flagged in this research and by addressing their causes. This might entail being open to working with others on solutions that could include dedicated training and capacity building programmes as well as sectoral or national approaches.
Authors: Wal, S. van der
Country: India , Kenya
Category: Research
ISBN: 978-90-71284-86-1
Keywords: agriculture , labour , trade
Language: eng
Organization: SOMO - Centre for Research on Multinational Corporations
PAGE: 42
Place: Amsterdam
Publisher: SOMO
Year: 2011
Region: South Asia , East Africa
Right: © 2011 SOMO. This document is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivateWorks 2.5 License.
Subject: Economic Development and Trade
Title: Certified Unilever tea : small cup, big difference?