ETP and ETI Tackle Discrimination and Harassment, Kenya

Discrimination and harassment are issues that affect workers in most tea producing regions and are difficult to address through a traditional audit approach. ETP’s African Regional Manager, Joseph Wagurah has been successfully changing attitudes through the establishment of gender committees in key Kenyan tea producers and ETP is now aiming to widen its impact by teaming up with the Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI) to roll-out training for supervisors in the tea sector on how to effectively manage these sensitive issues. As Joseph Wagurah explained:

“Supervisors are the people who manage workers on a day-today basis and the way they do this has a major impact in determining how workers are treated. Often supervisors receive very little training and do not see themselves as managers and may not have the skills to deal with long-standing discrimination and harassment issues. It’s therefore crucial to gain their understanding and cooperation if initiatives aimed at improving social standards are to be a success.”

The ETI has successfully trialled its training in a number of agricultural factories in Kenya and the UK, and its partnership with the ETP will be its first large-scale roll out, covering 20 Kenyan tea factories, and training almost 200 supervisors and managers. For Dan Rees, the programme with the ETP is a major stepforward: “ETI wants to have impact at scale and working with ETP, which brings together such a significant proportion of the tea sector, is a very effective way of achieving changes that should improve the day-to-day work experience for many workers.”