Tea firms urged to forge direct relations with workers amid rising labour abuse

Tuesday 13 June 2023 

Last month, the Business and Human Rights Resource Centre (BHRRC) launched its report, Boiling Point: Strengthening Corporate Accountability in the Tea Industry. The report looked at public allegations of human rights abuses in the tea sector identified in media reports, and buyers' approaches to addressing them – including nine Ethical Tea Partnership (ETP) members. Click here for our response to the report.

Published on Monday 12 June 2023, this article for the global news agency Reuters examines responses to the report from BHRRC itself, as well as buyers, and us at ETP. The article identifies supply chain transparency and due diligence as key components of responsible business practices.

ETP believes transparency and supply chain due diligence are important methods to address problems in the tea supply chain. We know that tea companies manage increasingly complex supply chains that often span multiple countries and involve a huge number of workers and suppliers.

We are working with our members, comprised of international tea companies, traders and retailers, to improve transparency in the tea industry and to better understand their supply chain risks. We know that the sector needs to go beyond certification, and we encourage our members to establish strong relationships with their suppliers to drive continuous improvement.

As a membership organisation, we acknowledge the value of due diligence and transparency in identifying risks, and as an enabler of collaboration and positive action. We welcome the advancement of human rights and environmental due diligence laws globally, and we are committed to supporting our members to improve their practices and to understand their supply chain risks better.

Click here to read our Know Your Supply Chain factsheet, which explains what it means to know your supply chain better and outlines some benefits of supply chain due diligence and data sharing.