The real price of a cup of tea [Kenya]

Author: Jody Clarke, Irish Times, Published on: 11 June 2011

Much of the Lyons tea drunk in Ireland is grown in a Kenyan plantation where workers say they’ve suffered sexual harassment and exploitation…Women face constant sexual harassment, wages are poor, promotion is based on what tribe employees belong to, and workers’ accommodation is inadequate. Employees claim that the company has provided them with no means of addressing their problems...Unilever, which owns the Lyons brand, says it is unaware of any current problems at Kericho, where most Lyons tea comes from…Paul Matthews [from] Unilever insists that health facilities and housing conditions there are “the best provided in that region”…In response to the sexual-harassment allegations, Unilever sent an auditing team to the plantation to investigate, and “found no evidence of problems”. The company claims it “would act quickly on any case where there is evidence of such behaviour taking place”. It also says it has put in place improved reporting mechanisms for women suffering sexual harassment. [also refers to PG Tips, Lipton]

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Related companies: Lipton (part of Unilever) Lyons Tea PG Tips (part of Unilever) Unilever