Many tea blends include tea from Assam, where people get poverty wages, are scared to speak up and have no way out. The big tea brands – Unilever (PG Tips and Lipton), Twinings, Apeejay (Typhoo), Yorkshire Tea, Tata (Tetley) and Clipper – are well aware of this but aren’t doing enough to challenge it.
But you can get them to do more. It starts by asking a simple question: who picked my tea?
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 are well known in the UK tea industry, which has been buying tea from Assam for years as one of the leading importing countries. But brands aren’t doing enough to challenge Assam tea estate owners or to improve their own buying practices.
That’s why Traidcraft Exchange is launching a campaign to ask tea brands to do the right thing and step up on behalf of people like Maloti.
So please add your voice and ask the big tea brands: “Who picked my tea?”