Tea-totally unacceptable

Last month, hundreds of you badgered Typhoo, asking them to become an entirely Fairtrade brand. We know that Fairtrade is the only system that independently guarantees farmers a fair price for their products, whilst also helping communities to develop in a sustainable way. Big tea companies like Typhoo have the power to improve the lives of thousands of tea farmers all around the world, by investing in the local communities in which they work.

So SuperBadger wasn’t very happy when he received a reply from Typhoo a few weeks ago that suggested that Typhoo weren’t too keen on switching to being a Fairtrade brand any time soon. SuperBadger was particularly concerned that the reply stated that:

“we [Typhoo] also believe that our customers should be allowed the opportunity to freely choose between Fair-trade accredited products and standard products, which is why we offer both.”

As a number of SuperBadger’s friends have said on the discussion board, who would prefer to buy a product that has been produced in unacceptable and unjust conditions, when there is a Fairtrade alternative available?

Whilst SuperBadger welcomes Typhoo’s commitment to double the number of Fairtrade products sold over the next year, it’s a shame that they haven’t committed to working with Fairtrade to ensure that all their products are Fairtrade accredited. Rather than working within their own certification rules, why don’t Typhoo commit to working to achieve full Fairtrade-accreditation on all their products, accreditation that is recognised and respected world-wide, and helps thousands of people out of poverty.

As always, do visit http://apps.facebook.com/superbadger to see the latest actions you can take.

Here is the full response from Typhoo:

_______________________________________________________

Dear Customer

I am writing with regards to your recent correspondence requesting that Typhoo become a Fair-trade labelled tea. We fully understand your concerns and would like to highlight that, whilst Typhoo wholeheartedly support the Fair-trade movement and would endorse any initiatives that ensure that tea workers situations are improved, we actually operate differently from all of our competitors in how we source tea.

At Typhoo tea, we are committed to ensuring that we trade fairly with all the tea estates that we buy tea from. We are uniquely placed in the Tea industry and demonstrate our commitment through trading fairly with tea estates in two ways; firstly to support the Fair-trade foundation by using Fair-trade tea with our Ridgways brand; secondly to use our Typhoo certification scheme to monitor the tea gardens we buy from are continuously improving fair labour standards (measured against the ETI base code), health & safety, quality and food safety, and sustainable environmental practices.

An example of how our certification scheme works is in the Makandi estate in Malawi where we have worked closely with the estate to deliver significant benefits including the introduction of terms and conditions for workers, greater wage transparency, improvements to housing, sanitation and access to water, as well as a focus on the elimination of discrimination against women and illegal disciplinary practices.

Over the next 12 months we intend to double the number of Fair-trade products we sell, clearly demonstrating our commitment to the Fair-trade organisation for the long term. However, we also believe that our customers should be allowed the opportunity to freely choose between Fair-trade accredited products and standard products, which is why we offer both.

In addition to this, you have probably noticed recently on our packs that we are working very closely with the Federation of Disability Sport. We have developed a Typhoo Sports for All programme with them that provides community sports coaches with a qualification giving them the skills necessary to included disabled people in their coaching sessions. So far we have trained 1000 coaches across the whole of the UK which has given thousands of disabled people the opportunity to take part in the sports and games they love. So, you can see, that not only do we work closely with tea plantation workers around the globe; we carry out some very worthwhile activities closer to home too.

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One response to “Tea-totally unacceptable

  1. They are afraid that consumers will defect to other brands if they go Fairtrade.

    Its cowardly, we should pay more for our tea, its only right.

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