This report presents the findings from the Global Business of Forced Labour project.

The project investigates the business models of forced labour in global agricultural supply chains. Over two years the project systematically mapped the business of forced labour, focusing on case studies of cocoa and tea supply chains.

Through extensive primary research in the cocoa industry in Ghana and the tea industry in India and with domestic and international business actors, the project generated an original dataset that sheds light on the drivers and patterns of forced labour in agricultural supply chains feeding UK markets. This dataset includes in-depth interviews with over 120 tea and cocoa workers, a survey of over 1000 tea and cocoa workers, and over 100 interviews with business and government actors including: tea and cocoa plantation managers, buyers, large multinational beverage and confectionery companies, corporate social responsibility experts.

The report analyses the patterns of forced labour in cocoa and tea supply chains and the effectiveness of key business and government initiatives in combating it. By way of conclusion, it offers recommendations to strengthen approaches to address and prevent forced labour in supply chains.

Key findings and statistics from the project include:

  • There are widespread patterns of labour abuse in tea and cocoa supply chains feeding UK markets. Low prices and irresponsible sourcing practices create high profits for retail and brand firms but this creates a strong and systemic business ‘demand’ for cheap and forced labour.
  • The project found evidence of abuse including: sexual violence; verbal abuse; threats of violence; threats of dismissal; debt bondage; the under-provision of legally mandated goods and services including housing, sanitation, water, food and medical care; non and under-payment of wages; and requirements to complete unpaid labour as a condition of employment.
  • Employers profit from forced labour by using it to reduce the cost of business. The study finds evidence that employers in the tea industry systematically under-pay wages and under-provide legally-mandated essential services such as drinking water and toilets. In the cocoa industry employers cut costs by under-paying wages and creating situations of debt bondage.
  • Although chocolate and tea companies are highly profitable, workers at the base of their supply chains live far below the poverty line. Tea workers’ wages in India are as low as 25 per cent of the poverty line amount and cocoa workers’ wages in Ghana are around 30 per cent of the poverty line amount.
  • 40 per cent of tea workers within the study have had unfair deductions made from their wages.
  • 47 per cent of tea workers within the study do not have access to water that is safe to drink.
  • 23 per cent of cocoa workers within the study have performed work they were not paid for.
  • 95 per cent of cocoa workers within the study did not know whether the farm they were working on was certified or not.

Targeted recommendations for policymakers, business, and certification organisations are laid out in a series of policy briefs that accompanies this report.

The Global Business of Forced Labour: Report of Findings - University of Sheffield, 2018 DOWNLOAD
Policy Brief # 1 - Key Findings and recommendations for UK policymakers DOWNLOAD
Policy Brief #2 Key Findings and recommendations for auditors and certifiers DOWNLOAD
Policy Brief #3 Key Findings and recommendations for brands and retail companies DOWNLOAD

post

page

attachment

revision

nav_menu_item

custom_css

customize_changeset

oembed_cache

user_request

wp_block

acf-field-group

acf-field

ai1ec_event

A Fair Share for Georgia’s Grape Growers
Publications

This is one of a series of case studies to supplement the global campaign report, Ripe for Change, drawing attention to the plight of specific groups of small-scale farmers and workers in international food value chains and/or promoting successful a...Read More

The Hidden Cost of Jewelry: Human Rights in Supply Chains and the Responsibility of Jewelry Companies
Publications

In this report, Human Rights Watch scrutinizes steps taken by key actors within the jewelry industry to ensure that rights are respected in their gold and diamond supply chains. The report focuses on the policies and practices of 13 major jewelry bra...Read More

Prostitution: Exploitation, Persecution, Repression
Publications

The Fondation Scelles presents the 4th Global Report on sexual exploitation. The goal of this book is to analyze the facts to better understand the evolution of prostitution in each country. So, one will find here the analyses of 38 countries from a...Read More

TAGS: Global
Modern Slavery in Nepal: Understanding the problem and existing responses
Publications

Survey data suggests that a minimum, some 229,000 Nepali's were subject to some form of modern slavery in 2014. While some of this involved victims and offenders within Nepal itself, a significant proportion is likely to have been exploited outside ...Read More

TAGS: Asia