A BITTER CUP OF TEA
Did you know that tea is the second most favoured drink to water in the world?
Did you also know that worker exploitation occurs at the plantations which most of our world's tea is derived from?
40 years onwards from the Government acknowledging workers lack of rights in the Tea plantation industries of Kenya and India, many workers are still cruelly neglected. For one child exploitation is still a current issue within the industry. Poverty is a large factor in this disheartening matter. Many children are forced to work in order to provide their struggling families with the most income they are able to earn; mostly around $1.50 a day. A crippling statistic outlines that "less than 1% of profit goes to tea pickers".
It is a shame to see that as a modern, cultured soceity, we have our future generations in struggling countries bear the brunt of our consumerism; it's more than just a cup of tea. For these worker's it is their harsh reality, the painstaking hours, enduring heat and day-to-day employment to save employer's money. If they are lucky enough to receive holidays they are limited to 3 and a half days annually. 3 and a half days a year. The injustice is unfathemoble. The conditions are worse. And for what little pay they receive, the immorality and human indecency wafting around this industry is a far cry from the quaint little tea boxes found at your local supermarket. India is simultaneously experiencing a food crisis, meaning prices will soar ridiculously. Ultimately 60% of India's children are also under weight which will only continue to worsen as the workers pay and conditions deplete. Workers are dangerously exposed to chemicals and pesticies during work as they aren't provided with the basic saftely equiptment we would take for granted. There is a way readers can help, like the fair trade coffee brand, "Fair trade tea" is available at all good supermarkets. Such brands ensure workers are paid adequate amounts of money, they don't support child labour and all workers are entitled to their basic rights. It's a cup of tea for everyone so why not consider it?