Advancing human rights in the tea sector: what role for supply chain sustainability tools and approaches? (webinar)

Briefing or opinion

Published 27th September 2022.


The tea sector is at a critical juncture. On the one hand, there is commercial distress with oversupply, low prices, and a need to pass more value up the value chain. On the other, there are growing expectations from consumers, lead companies, and investors to address and advance human rights for workers and tea-growing communities. Addressing key human rights challenges whilst maintaining a profitable value chain is going to need concerted action and commitment by market actors. Several supply chain sustainability approaches such as certification, company codes and other tools have been operational in the tea sector for several decades. How far have they gone in addressing some of the human rights issues in the sector? How much further can they go? What sector-wide cooperation is needed to take a systemic approach to addressing these challenges? What underlies the gap between the intentions of these sustainability approaches and the reality for tea workers and farmers worldwide? This Evidensia learning event, in partnership with THIRST – The International Roundtable for Sustainable Tea – explored these questions. We built on THIRST’s recently published literature review, which makes up the first phase of their ongoing human rights impact assessment of the tea sector, by adding perspectives of practice. Speakers: Krishanti Dharmaraj | Trustee | The International Roundtable for Sustainable Tea (THIRST); Alysha Shivji | Communication and Research Consultant | The International Roundtable for Sustainable Tea (THIRST); Jenny Costelloe | Executive Director | Ethical Tea Partnership; Roshan Rai | Development Practitioner | DLR Prerna
Research detail

View details of the primary research behind this resource

Human rights in the tea sector: the big picture

Synthesis paper
Research report

Published 27th September 2022.

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