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5 Mai 2023

James Finlay's response to allegations of abuses in its tea supply chain


Report 1

  • An employee of James Finlay Kenya Ltd. (JFKL) attempted to run over a worker in Kericho, Kenya in November - reportedly due to the worker’s involvement in a class action lawsuit against JFKL in relation to musculoskeletal injuries suffered by thousands of workers at JFKL farms in Kericho...

We can confirm JFKL is part of our supply chain and we were aware of the allegations. JFKL has voluntarily given a number of undertakings to the Scottish court in connection with the ongoing class action lawsuit brought by employees and former employees against the company in Scotland. These include an undertaking not to harass any group members. The allegation that an attempt was made to run down a group member is subject to review by the Scottish courts.

Having undertaken a thorough investigation into the allegation, JFKL is confident that there is no foundation to this claim and that this will be confirmed by the Scottish courts in due course.

As an ETI member, freedom of association and collective bargaining rights are respected by Finlays as outlined in our Code of Conduct and Sustainable Sourcing Policy. There is an active union presence at JFKL and wages and work conditions are negotiated through the Collective Bargaining Agreement.

Report 2

  • Finlays’ workers in Bangladesh took part in widespread protests in Bangladesh in August, demanding a 150% rise in daily wages, in the face of rising living costs...

We can confirm this company is not part of our supply chain. James Finlay Bangladesh was a company that was owned and operated for a number of years as part of the Finlays group. Approximately 20 years ago, Finlays entire business in Bangladesh was sold to the Consolidated Tea and Lands Company (Bangladesh) Ltd. Since that time, the new owner has continued to use the Finlay brand in Bangladesh without authority from James Finlay Limited. There is no connection whatsoever between James Finlay Limited and the Consolidated Tea and Lands Company (Bangladesh) Ltd.

[The full response is attached]

Part of the following timelines

Kenya: Tea workers sue James Finlay over working conditions & injuries; Incl. co. comments

Bangladesh: Nearly 150,000 tea workers stage a nation-wide protest urging a wage increase equivalent to $3 per day

Company responses and non-response to allegations of human rights abuses in tea supply chains