Improving working conditions in China

Given that nearly half of the world’s tea comes from China, it is not surprising that 80 million people in the country work in tea. The factories that process Chinese tea are varied – ranging from small, family-owned factories, to highly automated state-of the art factories.

The context

Given that nearly half of the world’s tea comes from China, it is not surprising that 80 million people in the country work in tea. The factories that process Chinese tea are varied – ranging from small, family-owned factories, to highly automated state-of the art factories. Similarly, human resource (HR) systems in place in the Chinese tea sector are also varied.

Our aims

ETP helps tea workers to have the best possible experience in the workplace. Our aim is to make sure that factories have appropriate HR systems that respect and protect workers.

Working together with an expert local consultant, we created a first-of-its-kind, practical HR guide with tailored templates for tea factories. The areas covered in the toolkit are far-reaching, including working hours, contracts, wages, holiday and benefits as well as hiring, grievance and disciplinary procedures.

Our impact

Our HR guidance was refreshed in Autumn 2017, and has since reached nearly 200 staff responsible for HR policies and practices in the Chinese tea sector. Following the training, all the factories involved have improved conditions for tea workers and updated their HR processes.

Our training includes templates management can install, so that the factories can readily embed new, comprehensive HR approaches. It enables senior staff to improve their workplace policies, practices and systems – making them safer and better for workers.

We have been working to improve conditions in Chinese tea factories for many years, and have run a range of training and follow-up support programmes on occupational health and safety. These have led to factories implementing systematic changes to address safety issues.

Find out more

Read more about ETP’s activity in China and how we support small-scale tea farmers in the country.

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