Now Twinings moves – an update on ‘Who picked my tea?’ 

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In May we launched a big new campaign aiming to bring about change for the women who pick the tea we drink. And today we’re celebrating our second campaign win! 

Twinings have become the second big UK tea brand to publish their list of suppliers from India in full – a key demand of our campaign. 

(It’s a little bit fiddly to find the list from the map – click on ‘Tea’, then ‘India’, then ‘Our Supply Base’ in the bottom left hand corner of the pop-up box).  

This follows on from Yorkshire Tea’s decision to publish their list in June. 

Together Twinings and Yorkshire make up nearly one-third of the UK tea market so these are significant steps forward.  

A quick recap of how we got here… 

The tea sector is India’s largest private employer and Assam accounts for more than half of India’s annual tea production. Nearly 1 million workers and their families are directly dependent on the tea industry for their livelihoods. 

If you drink any of the tea sold by the big UK brands the chances are that there is tea from Assam in it – it’s a key ingredient in many popular blends and prized for its unique malty flavour. 

Yet the women who pick it are not so prized – they are trapped in poverty with no easy way out. 

Our campaign aims to change that. 

Over seven thousand of you have sent in ‘Who picked my tea?’ postcards and taken our online action targeting the big 6 UK tea brands.(If you haven’t taken the action yet you can do so here). 

This has spurred the brands into action with Yorkshire Tea and Twinings moving to publish their lists of Assam tea estates in full. 

We now need to push the remaining four – PG Tips, Tetley, Typhoo, and Clipper – to do likewise so that the vast majority of British consumers have an answer to the question: ‘who picked my tea?’. 

Armed with the knowledge that the fruits of their labour end up in the packets of major British brands, tea workers in Assam can push for better wages and living conditions (as they are currently doing). The more knowledge they have, the more power they have – so we will keep the pressure going until we have the complete picture.  

But for now – well done Twinings! 

P.S. If you’d like to send them a message congratulating them please email: twinings.direct@twinings.com and if you’re on Twitter you can tweet them directly.

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J McNaughton