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20 Sep 2023

Tetley's response to alleged human rights abuses in the tea supply chain - September 2023

Thank you for requesting our comment on the mix of news reports shared with us.

We have an established procedure in place to investigate and act on any report which suggests a failing in the protection of human rights. No matter the level of severity, we apply the same investigative rigour to each report we receive.

Our team of buyers make direct contact with the suppliers involved to understand the issue, the context and background to it; immediate actions taken; details of remediation; and information on timed actions to mitigate the risk of a repeat incident.

In addition to supplier responses, we consider feedback from our buyers on what they have witnessed first-hand during most recent buying visits. If appropriate and logistically feasible, a buyer from our regional offices will also visit an estate to provide additional insight and feedback.

At the earliest opportunity appropriate third-party partners such as the Ethical Tea Partnership and Rainforest Alliance are requested to provide assessment from their in-country experts; and co-ordinate any industry-wide response/action considered necessary.

Depending on the severity of the instance reported, results of the investigations are escalated for review by our human rights working group and a decision made on what additional action should be taken by the business....


Full response included below.

Part of the following timelines

India: Workers fear mass job losses as they are made to uproot tea bushes, incl. co responses

India: Calls for manager's arrest after worker severely injured at tea factory, incl. co. responses

India: Worker killed in machine accident at Assam estate, incl. co. responses

India: Workers unpaid for five weeks and struggling to afford food amid management absence, incl. co. response

Sri Lanka: Worker attacked by leopard at Bridwell Tea Estate, workers say they live in constant fear of attack, incl. co. responses

Tea brands and retailers respond to allegations of rights abuses in the global supply chain