THIRST's three-year Human Rights Impact Assessment of the Global Tea Sector

Tuesday 25 April, 14:30 - 16:00 – Zoom


ETP is forwarding this invitation on behalf of THIRST - The International Roundtable for Sustainable Tea.

ETP members are invited to take part in THIRST's three-year Human Rights Impact Assessment of the Global Tea Sector through a 90 minute focus group call from 14:30 - 16:00 on 25th April 2023. Please use this Zoom link to join the discussion on the root causes of the human rights gap in the tea sector.

Your knowledge and expertise will be invaluable to this analysis and will provide a vital part of the fully rounded picture of these issues that we are aiming to build. THIRST believes that it is only by gathering all perspectives that it can develop systemic solutions that work for everyone.

The purpose of the call is to understand - from the perspective of tea packers, brands and retailers -  the key drivers of human rights issues in the tea sector. 

Topics to be discussed are likely to include:

  • What companies feel are the key drivers of  the human rights gap identified in THIRST's 2022 report Human Rights in the Tea Sector - The Big Picture
  • What challenges companies may be facing in implementing their codes of conduct for suppliers.
  • What economic and legislative trends companies are seeing that they think will impact on these issues.
  • Who companies feel are the most important actors in tackling these issues and what they should do.
  • THIRST also invite you to share examples of initiatives you may be involved in that are helping to address these issues.


How will the information be used?

The results of the discussion will be used to draft an analysis report that will inform roundtable discussions in the autumn of this year (to which you will also be invited) to discuss what actions could be taken by players at different stages of the tea value chain to help create a fairer and more thriving tea industry.  

The discussion will be reported in general terms and no quotes will be attributed to individuals or companies or phrased in such a way that companies or individuals can be identified. Exceptions may be made where companies state that they wish to be identified, e.g. in the examples of initiatives.



THIRST's HRIA of the tea sector has four phases; 1. Assessment, 2. Analysis, 3. Action planning, and 4. Accountability. 

The first phase of the HRIA was an assessment of the current situation for tea workers and farmers and the industry they are part of. It was completed in May 2022 with the publication of THIRST's literature review report Human Rights in the Tea Sector - The Big Picture which confirmed that the living and working conditions of tea workers and farmers across the world often fall far short of the plethora of international standards, legislation and corporate policies designed to protect them. 

The second phase, focusing on analysis of the root causes of the problems identified, is now underway with an online Global Tea Producers Survey and a comprehensive set of interviews with key stakeholders. 

The findings from this analysis phase will be published in an interim report later this year, and - together with the Phase 1 findings - will form the basis for the third, action planning, phase. This will be a series of international multi-stakeholder roundtable meetings to discuss what actions need to be taken to address the identified problems, and by whom. Your input into those discussions would also, of course, be highly valued. THIRST will contact you about the details nearer the time.


Who is THIRST?

THIRST is an independent knowledge and action platform for civil society actors and tea industry stakeholders who are committed to working together to create a fair and thriving tea industry.