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Unilever publishes global tea suppliers; move follows campaign to improve working conditions that saw UK's six top tea firms reveal suppliers

Author: Kieran Guilbert, Thomson Reuters Foundation, Published on: 17 September 2019

"Unilever reveals global tea suppliers in drive for slave-free sourcing", 12 Sep 2019

Consumer goods giant Unilever released a list of its global tea suppliers on Thursday, bolstering a drive to stamp out worker exploitation and modern-day slavery on plantations.

The move by the Anglo-Dutch food group - which buys 10% of the world's tea supply and owns at least a dozen major brands from PG Tips to Lipton - followed a charity campaign that successfully saw Britain's six top tea firms reveal such data...

"Unilever's decision to publish its global supplier list gives the women who pick the tea we drink more power to push for better pay and conditions, wherever they work," Traidcraft Exchange's policy adviser Tom Wills said...

"Making the supplier list public means tea workers can complain directly to a global brand when standards fall short of what is being advertised to western consumers"...

The data published by Unilever revealed that it uses tea suppliers in countries including India, Bangladesh, China, Argentina, Turkey, Uganda and Indonesia...

Yet academics and business pressure groups have previously told the Thomson Reuters Foundation that abuses do not stop due to greater transparency alone, and called for action from better dialogue with workers to the introduction of a fair living wage.

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