Partnership aims to tackle abuse in Indian tea communities
A ground-breaking new partnership between Unicef and the Ethical Tea Partnership aims to improve opportunities for tens of thousands of children in communities growing some of the world’s favourite tea and reduce their vulnerability to trafficking and abuse.
The 3-year programme supported and funded by IDH the Sustainable Trade Initiative; ETP members, Tesco, OTG (Meßmer), Tata Global Beverages (Tetley, Tata Tea), and Taylors of Harrogate (Yorkshire Tea); and Typhoo, will initially work with 350 communities on over 100 estates in three districts in the Indian state of Assam, and has the potential to serve as a model to protect children across other rural communities.
UK supermarket giant Tesco has played a leading role in bringing together the coalition of organisations behind the programme as part of its ongoing commitment to improve conditions across its supply chains. Tesco is the first international retailer to partner with ETP.
The partnership is the first of its kind to bring together all key stakeholders in the tea industry - public and private organisations and the supply chain – to tackle the problem of child exploitation across the sector.
Sarah Roberts, executive director of the ETP, said: “We want to create a thriving future for everyone involved in tea by tackling the root causes of social and environmental problems. UNICEF’s expertise will help the tea industry to build a better future for tens of thousands of children in communities growing some of the world’s favourite tea, by improving their knowledge and skills and reducing their vulnerability to violence, abuse, and exploitation. Problems such as these can’t be tackled by any one organisation on their own and we are delighted to be part of such a strong coalition.”