Thomson Reuters Foundation publish exclusive story on labour abuse in Indian tea industry

On 31st May 2018, Thomson Reuters Foundation published a story on labour abuse in the Indian tea industry, based on an exclusive preview of findings from the Global Business of Forced Labour project. Journalists Serena Chaudhry and Kieran Gilbert followed up on the study’s findings by speaking to major tea companies, such as Tata Global Beverages, and certifiers, such as Fairtrade and Rainforest Alliance, and by interviewing tea workers in Assam.

The article highlights the failure of prominent certification schemes in preventing forms of labour exploitation, such as underpayment of workers’ wages and physical abuse, and suggests that the study’s findings could erode consumer trust in ethical certification schemes.

Professor LeBaron is quoted in the article, stating that “Our research raises really big questions about the effectiveness of certification overall as a tool to solve labour issues in supply chains.”

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