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15 Sep 2023

Unilever's response to alleged human rights violations in the tea supply chain - September 2023

We are grateful for the opportunity to respond to reports of alleged human rights violations within our tea supply chain.


We continue to believe that collaboration across the industry is critical to address these issues, such as through the Ethical Tea Partnership. Tea is a priority crop in our commitment to ensure workers earn at least a living wage or income in global supply chains. In turn, this will help to improve working conditions and raise living standards.

Unilever's Responsible Partner Policy mandates that all business partners have in place a Code of Conduct or Responsible Sourcing Policy for their own supply chain. There is a process to communicate this throughout the supply chain and to monitor compliance. Tea certification also helps to ensure that human and labour rights are met. We continue to support the increased certification within our value chain.

Unilever is taking proactive responsibility on the health and wellbeing of our plantation workers through nutrition and women safety partnership program me s.

These social impact programmes are live examples of sectoral changes in making tea a truly sustainable sector. It is key that we create a positive impact for people whose livelihoods depend on tea.

For example, we are working with partners to improve diet diversity and access to nutritious foods in tea producing communities in Assam covering 160 ,000 workers across tea estates

Here is a link to Unilever’s Tea Suppliers list, that ensures we are being transparent.

Full response available below.

Part of the following timelines

Bangladesh: Workers claim they have not received owed wage uplift , incl. co. responses

India: Workers at Kalchini and Bhatpara tea estates report deplorable housing conditions, incl. co. responses

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

India: Tea worker attacked by leopard in West Bengal

Bangladesh: Worker attacked by leopard at Mechpara Tea Estate

India: Two West Bengal youths injured by tiger at tea estate

India: Leopard attacks tea worker in Assam

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

India: Leopard attacks affect tea workers in Assam

India: Workers demand compensation and permanent housing for worker killed by tractor at Pabhoi Tea Estate, incl. co responses

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

India: Workers protest after not receiving wages and threaten strike until demands are met, incl. co. responses

Bangladesh: Workers staged days-long strike at two Habiganj tea gardens over unpaid wages and other demands, incl. co. responses

India: Lockout at Tasati Tea Estate, without consultation with workers or union, incl. co. responses

India: worker killed, and four others injured, in elephant attack at Assam tea garden, incl. co. responses

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