Ringtons publishes tea suppliers in new transparency move

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE (sent 24 January 2019) 

Specialist tea company Ringtons has published its list of tea suppliers, marking a significant move towards transparency across the UK tea market. Ringtons commands 5% of the UK market for their own brand and the other companies for whom they source and manufacture tea products. Ringtons have included all the tea estates and factories for their overall business in their disclosure. 

International development charity Traidcraft Exchange, which has been campaigning for transparency in the UK tea market with its campaign ‘Who picked my tea?’, welcomed Ringtons’ move. 

Fiona Gooch, Senior Policy Adviser for Traidcraft Exchange, said: “By publishing their list of suppliers, Ringtons have joined a growing group of UK brands who are showing that transparency is not only possible but absolutely needed in today’s world. Consumers want to know where the tea they drink is grown, and more importantly, workers on tea estates need to know where the tea they grow is consumed.” 

James Jobling, Ringtons’ Chief Operating Officer, said: “We have been very keen to publish our list of tea suppliers since the concept was first launched by Traidcraft Exchange. I have often said that we could not make our famous and wonderful tea blends without the hard work and passion of the tea farmers and tea makers in origin. We have the pleasure in working with the teas that they create and we are very proud to source in the way that we do.” 

He went on: “I hope that by sharing this information in this way we can facilitate greater collaboration to tackle systemic challenges that the industry faces as a whole with our key stakeholders.” 

Traidcraft Exchange’s ‘Who picked my tea?’ campaign revealed low pay and appalling working conditions on some tea estates in Assam. Tea from Assam is a crucial ingredient in many English Breakfast blends. 

More than ten thousand people so far have taken part in the Traidcraft Exchange initiative by writing to the big 6 UK tea brands asking them to publish the full list of tea estates they buy from in Assam. To date Yorkshire Tea, Tetley, Twinings and Clipper have all published their supplier lists. 

ENDS 

 

For more information or to interview Fiona Gooch contact Mary Milne: 

mary.milne@traidcraft.org or 07757 753 318 

 

Notes for editors: 

 

  • Traidcraft Exchange is an international development charity which uses the power of trade to bring about lasting solutions to poverty. It runs development programmes in South Asia and Africa, works directly with businesses to improve their supply chains, and does advocacy and campaigning in the UK to promote justice and fairness in international trade. It works closely with specialist fair trade company Traidcraft plc. Traidcraft Exchange is a registered charity, no. 1048752: https://www.traidcraft.org.uk/      

  • Ringtons list of tea suppliers can be found here: https://www.ringtons.co.uk/pride-in-our-supply-base-i248  

  • ‘The Estate They’re In: how the tea industry traps women in poverty in Assam’ can be downloaded here: https://www.traidcraft.org.uk/tea-report      

  • Photos are available to illustrate the story – please contact Mary Milne 

  • The ‘Who picked my tea?’ campaign calls on the big UK tea brands to start being transparent about which tea estates they buy from: https://www.traidcraft.org.uk/tea    

J McNaughton