What is the impact of fairtrade production on tea workers?

Led by Dr Karin Astrid Siegmann, this study aimed to better understand Fairtrade’s impact for tea plantations and workers in India and Sri Lanka.

The 3-year study explored 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.

Although the research findings are sobering, suggesting that making a real impact on workers lives remains challenging, the report does provide some suggestions for forward-looking strategies which would enable Fairtrade certification to contribute more to decent working conditions on tea estates in India and Sri Lanka.

The study findings fall into four major areas:

  • industrial relations and labour rights;
  • wages and Fairtrade Premium;
  • working conditions;
  • social development.

Each region is discussed separately (south India, Assam and Sri Lanka), with some diverse findings across the regions.

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