India: Working conditions improved at Rainforest Alliance certified tea estates but more to be done, concludes a report
"Certified Unilever Tea – A Cup Half Empty : Follow-up study on working conditions in Rainforest Alliance certified tea plantations in India", August 2016
The report Certified Unilever Tea - A Cup Half Empty, published by the India Committee of the Netherlands...provides evidence that working conditions at two Rainforest Alliance...certified Indian tea estates providing tea to Unilever have improved but continue to be not ‘up to standard’, in particular for casual workers. Wages – between €3 and just over €4 – are far less than a living wage of around €7.50. Casualization of the workforce substantially increased, most of them migrants or retired permanent workers. They do not receive the same social benefits as permanent workers...Rainforest Alliance immediately started a formal complaint procedure after the draft report was submitted to them. After research audits that took place in May 2016 in response to the report, RA said it did not find any violations of their code except non-payment of leave days for temporary workers in Kairbetta estate. In its response Unilever more generally states that...progress in the Indian tea industry is being made but there is more to be done.