Campaigning and advocacy group War on Want have just released a report on the pitiful pay and conditions that tea workers endure throughout the world. It’s an industry that really hasn’t changed a great deal since colonial times. In fact, WoW state that their first report on abuses in the tea industry go back 40 years and sadly they have to report now that things have not changed.
The report challenges the large supermarkets who are cashing-in on a boom in tea sales to insist on better pay and conditions for estate workers.
As well as linking to the WoW site – this gives me an opportunity to link to Tom Heineman’s excellent award-winning documentary, The Bitter Taste of Tea, on the not so fair practices of Fairtrade certified tea estates. His investigation found that Fairtrade tea estates were not passing on the premiums to the workers as Fairtrade certification states it ought to and serves to remind us that we all ought to read behind the headline message.
The documentary has been broadcast in a number of European countries and was the motivation behind some work that I produced a little while back