Sustainabilitea: The Dutch Tea Market and Corporate Social Responsibility

Author: SOMO, ProFound & India Committee of the Netherlands, Published on: 1 March 2006

...there is an urgent need for improvement of labour, social, ecological and economic conditions throughout the tea sector in the global south...Current responsible business initiatives of mayor players on the Dutch tea market are analysed [in this report] on the basis of internationally agreed upon standards and operational principles...Looking at labour, social and ecological issues in the global tea sector, a sad picture of large scale violation of internationally accepted standards emerges. ILO core conventions on labour issues (child labour, freedom of association, the right to collective bargaining, discrimination) are not respected. Issues such as wages, health and safety, working hours and regular employment paint a grim picture...[S]upply chain responsibility is an underdeveloped concept in the tea industry...Major objections against the ETP [Ethical Tea Partnership] include the unclear commitment to social standards by ETP members and the lack of reference to environmental standards. Moreover, the ETP does not include a serious stakeholder approach. [refers to Unilever, Hindustan Lever, Sara Lee, Ahold, Max Havelaar, Van Rees, James Finlay, Tata Tea (part of Tata Group), Tetley (part of Tata Tea), Hillsdown Holdings, Teekanne, Twinings (part of Associated British Foods), Ostfriesche Teegesellschaft, Kenyan Tea Development Agency Limited (KTDA Ltd), Williamson Magor, J.Thomas, Duncans Industries, Goodricke, John Keells (part of John Keells Holdings), Carritt Moran, Contemporary Targett, Paramount Tea Marketing, Teekanne, Nestlé, Coca-Cola, Simon Lévelt, Akbar Brothers, China TUHSU]

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Related companies: Ahold Delhaize Akbar Brothers Associated British Foods Carritt Moran China TUHSU Coca-Cola Goodricke Hindustan Unilever J.Thomas James Finlay (part of Swire) John Keells (part of John Keells Holdings) John Keells Holdings Kenya Tea Development Agency (KTDA) Nestlé Sara Lee Simon Lévelt Swire Group Tata Group Tata Tea (part of Tata Group) Teekanne Tetley (part of Tata Tea) Twinings (part of Associated British Foods) Unilever Van Rees Williamson Magor