BBC tea report shows further failures by Rainforest Alliance
The BBC report was highly critical of the Rainforest Alliance, which certifies large parts of the tea industry for global companies like Tata and Unilever. The estates where the BBC filmed were Rainforest certified despite major violations of national law and Rainforest's own standard. A local activist told the BBC he believed the Rainforest Alliance was "more about selling tea than about empowering workers".
IUF General Secretary Ron Oswald commented "Earlier cases showed us that Rainforest certification means nothing when it comes to ensuring workers' rights and freedom of association. Now we have further examples of failure on housing, pesticides and child labour, failure that can easily mislead consumers and may constitute false advertising of products".
"Companies have to stop hiding behind certification and Rainforest Alliance has to be asked if it really has a role to play in guaranteeing social conditions. Maybe Rainforest Alliance certification works for forest protection but for protection of workers and their working conditions we have another clear example of its failure. Consumers need to hear this truth" added Oswald.