Fairtrade certified tea in the hired labour sector in India and Sri Lanka: Impact study and baseline data collection

Published: 20 Nov 2020


Fairtrade International commissioned this study to better understand Fairtrade’s impact for tea plantations and workers in India and Sri Lanka, in advance of a review of the product-specific Fairtrade Standard for Tea. Researchers from ISS jointly with Centre for Development Studies (CDS), Thiruvananthapuram, India; Centre for Poverty Analysis (CEPA), Colombo, Sri Lanka and Department of Management, Amrita University, Kochi, India conducted a mixed-methods based study to explore the development of labour conditions and collective agency of workers in Fairtrade certified plantations compared to non-certified plantations, and the role of Fairtrade in that process.

The study findings fall into four major areas: industrial relations and labour rights; wages and Fairtrade Premium; working conditions; and social development. Each region is discussed separately (south India, Assam, and Sri Lanka), with some diverse findings across the regions.

Additional perspective and recommendations are included in a policy brief authored by the lead researcher. Fairtrade's response outlines actions that have been taken as a result of the study findings.

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