The Bitter Story Behind the UK’s National Drink

Tea is marketed as a symbol of relaxation and civilized culture, but reports emerge of poor conditions for workers on tea estates. “The joint investigation by Radio 4's File on Four and BBC News in Assam, north-east India, found workers living in broken houses with terrible sanitation,” reports BBC News. “Living and working conditions are so bad, and wages so low, that tea workers and their families are left malnourished and vulnerable to fatal illnesses.” Child labor was also alleged on some farms. Some growers justify low wages for workers because Indian law regards housing and sanitation as included in tea workers’ pay. NGOs like the Rainforest Alliance and the Ethical Tea Partnership are expected to monitor the industry. Still, the tea estates are described as fiefdoms where growers control all aspects of workers’ lives. – YaleGlobal

The Bitter Story Behind the UK's National Drink

Major tea firms check their suppliers after BBC investigation finds dangerous and degrading living and working conditions for workers on tea estates in India
Justin Rowlatt and Jane Deith
Friday, September 11, 2015

BBC World News will show The Real Cost of A Cuppa on Friday 11th September at 23:30 GMT and on Saturday 12th September at 11:30 GMT, 16:30 GMT & 22:30 GMT and on Sunday 13th September at 04:30 GMT & 17:30 GMT.

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