Case study 4.1
Ethical Tea Partnership Standards

The Ethical Tea Partnership (ETP) has established a set of standards to ensure that suppliers meet international and national legal obligations. Based on the standards set out in the Ethical Trading Initiative Base Code, they cover the main ILO Conventions. Industry best practice, local law and collective bargaining agreements that are relevant to worker welfare are used to support, clarify and enrich the standard, and to ensure that it is appropriate to the country in which it is applied. In case of contradictions, those provisions that afford workers the greatest protection will be used. The ETP Standard applies to all sites that produce and process tea leaves that are bought by ETP members.

Standard 7 on ‘Discrimination’ calls for equal treatment, equal pay for work of equal value and no discrimination against pregnant women. In particular it states that: “In collective negotiations and industrial relations the parties should respect the principle of equality of opportunity and treatment in employment and occupation, and should ensure that collective agreements contain no provisions of a discriminatory character in respect of access to, training for, advancement in or retention of employment or in respect of the terms and conditions of employment (ILO Recommendation No. 111).”

Standard 9.1 states that: “No Harsh or Inhumane Treatment: Physical abuse or discipline, the threat of physical abuse, sexual or other harassment and verbal abuse or other forms of intimidation shall be prohibited.

  1. Every employee shall be treated with respect and dignity,
  2. There should be a written policy which sets out how employees are treated and that prohibits bullying, harassment and abuse of any kind. This policy should be communicated to the workforce,
  3. The employer should set up a grievance/complaints procedure which allows workers to confidentially report harassment or abuse. This procedure should be communicated to all levels of the workforce,
  4. Supervisors should be trained in fair treatment of workers and on disciplinary and grievance procedures.”

Examples of sexual harassment include but are not limited to unwelcome sexual advances, unwanted hugs or touches, suggestive or lewd remarks, requests for sexual favours, derogatory or pornographic posters, pictures or drawings, as well as permitting a generally gender-harassing environment.

The ETP carries out training for managers and supervisors in preventing sexual harassment and a  training manual on ‘Social Issues’ has been produced with a strong focus on sexual harassment.