Trouble brewing: the need for transparency in tea supply chains

Thirteen million workers who toil on tea plantations have suffered from endemic human rights abuses while the tea companies they pick for - some of the world’s largest and most profitable companies - have evaded responsibility for their supply chain workers and kept their supply chains hidden. Without supply chain transparency or adequate human rights due diligence processes, tea workers have been unable to hold companies to account when rights abuses occur.

The Business and Human Rights Resource Centre responded to this by reaching out to 65 tea companies, requesting both supply chain disclosure and responses to a survey on due diligence processes and our findings are summarised in this report.

As a result of the company outreach, 3,177 facilities are now listed on the world’s first Tea Transparency Tracker, where brands and retailers are linked directly to the factories and estates they source from. 1,009 facilities were found to be supplying more than one of the companies on the tracker with 22 of the facilities supplying more than 10 of the companies on the list, indicating significant opportunity for combined leverage to invest in improving working conditions and providing remedy to workers, in response to allegations.

Wikirate mapped the tea supply chain data disclosed and hosts this dataset on the platform. Wikirate also provided analysis which is included in the report.