What tea brand do you drink? Did you know that many tea blends include tea from Assam, where people get poverty wages, are scared to speak up and have no way out. We launched this campaign to call on six big brands to publish a list of the list of the plantations in Assam they are sourcing from. One of which is the company behind Lipton, probably the world’s best-known tea brand, PG Tips and Tazo – Unilever.
People like Maloti (pictured above) work long hours in the tea gardens carrying heavy loads, often without proper equipment or even shoes. Workers are paid just £1.50 a day, and the services the estates are supposed to provide – like housing, clinics and schools – are often poor quality or even non-existent.
“They don’t repair the houses. We register complaints to the management, they note it down, but that remains in the register, they give no importance.”
These appalling conditions leave workers vulnerable to trafficking as they seek better opportunities for their children. Girls fall victim to the ‘Tea Maid Trade’, duped into domestic servitude and sexual slavery.1 The situation is well-known to the tea industry, which has been buying tea from Assam for years. Unilever (Lipton and PG Tips) has the power to challenge Assam tea estate owners and improve their own buying practices.
Since launching, Yorkshire Tea, Twinings, Tata (Tetley), Clipper and now Unilever (PG Tips and Lipton) have all stepped up and published full lists of their tea suppliers in Assam making transparency the norm. As a major global company responsible for bringing us some of our most-loved tea brands, they are helping us know, who picked my tea?
That’s why we are joining Traidcraft Exchange in calling on Unilever to do the right thing and step up on behalf of people like Maloti. Four major brands have listened to our call and now we are calling on Typhoo to join them.
So please add your voice and ask Typhoo: “Who picked my tea?”