Unilever's response to allegations of abuses in its tea supply chain
In India, of the 22 tea estates named, we sourced from nine* during 2022. We raised the issues at the Appeejay tea estates (some of which have since changed ownership) and understand that these issues have now been resolved. We were also aware of the accident at the Lepetkata estate and raised this with the producer, receiving confirmation of what action had been taken to address this and prevent further occurrences.
We were not aware of the remaining cases. As these are not direct Unilever suppliers, we are engaging with both our direct supplier and the relevant tea producers.
In Sri Lanka, according to our records, during 2022 we sourced from the following companies listed in your correspondence: Bogawantalawa; Elpititya; Hatton; Hapugastenne; Kelani; Kotagala; Madulsima and Maskeliya; but not from the estates mentioned...
Cross-industry work remains critical, including through organisations such as the Ethical Tea Partnership while issues such as the earning of at least a living wage or income in global supply chains...are also critical to help improve working conditions and raise living standards overall...
We will be updating our global tea supplier list before the end of the first quarter of this year.
*The nine estates we source from are: Limbuguri Tea Estate (Assam); Napuk, Jaboka, Muttrapore and Kharjan estates in Assam; Baradighi Tea Garden in West Bengal; At Fatemabad Tea Garden in Assam; Hirajuli Tea Estate in Assam; Lepetkata Tea Estate in Assam.
[The full response is attached]