Traidcraft Exchange are Asking: Who Picked My Tea? -

Traidcraft Exchange are Asking: Who Picked My Tea?

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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?”

  • May 24, 2019: It’s been a year since thousands of supporters joined the call demanding big tea companies to answer the question: “who picked my tea?” Now, workers on tea plantations know under which brand’s code of conduct they are protected. But their struggle is not over. Our partner, Traidcraft Exchange, will be sharing your messages of support with tea workers in Assam so that they know we are still with them in the fight for better conditions and pay. Make sure yours is included by posting your message in the comments section below!

  • April 12, 2019: We did it! Typhoo becomes the final big tea company to answer: who picked my tea? You can read their full list of suppliers in Assam here. Want to know how you helped? Take a look at Simon’s journey and how he got Typhoo to act.

  • January 30, 2019: Well done, Unilever! The company behind some of our best-loved tea brands has published a full list of their tea suppliers in Assam. Now you can enjoy your cup of Lipton or PG Tips knowing who picked your tea.

  • November 15, 2018: Clipper becomes the fourth tea company to publish a full list of its tea suppliers in Assam – only two more tea companies to go! Want to know more? Read how UK companies can help break the cycle of poverty wages on Assam’s tea plantations here.

  • Jun 05, 2018: Campaign Launches

Chip in and help end modern slavery once and for all.


Freedom United is interested in hearing from our community and welcomes relevant, informed comments, advice, and insights that advance the conversation around our campaigns and advocacy. We value inclusivity and respect within our community. To be approved, your comments should be civil.

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Damon Baragwanath
5 years ago

Why should we congratulate Unilever? They’re done the absolute barest minimum to look after the welfare of their workers. So, now we can find out where their tea is sourced? WOW!! What about the heavy use of insecticides currently being used on all their Tea Plantations? Furthermore, I’m shocked at Freedom United for even considering to support and condone the Unilever Corporation.

5 years ago

its very interesting to know that you’re taking up the causes of the Plantation workers. If im right, think few years ago there was a protest/strike by these workers in Assam . How about South India where in states like ( Coorg) Karnataka , Kochi ( Kerala) and ( ooty)Tamilnadu, the same issues are there ? Why cant you include these poor/suffering workers plight in your campaign ?
Many international brands buy TEA from these States.

5 years ago

I would gladly pay a cent per cup or more in addition if I knew workers could live a decent live and I could drink my tea without closing my eyes on living conditions of the ones who picked it for me…


Moira Jones
Moira Jones
5 years ago

Wherever in the world they live- people need a fair wage for a days work.

5 years ago

Let’s realise we live in a new world where everyone is equal and deserves the same income as we have in the First World. Let’s fight the “colonial”mindset.

This Campaign made an impact with 11,093 supporters!

Please read our field report with summary and outcome


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