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Systemic problems with the way certification schemes have been established and are monitored mean they have had little or no impact on labour standards within supply chains feeding U.K. markets, it said.
The report called for a public enquiry into the effectiveness of certification schemes with regard to labour abuses.
“It’s not clear that they helped at all with forced labour, and they may give a quite misleading picture of what’s happening in supply chains to businesses and to consumers,” said Genevieve LeBaron, professor of politics at the University of Sheffield and author of the report.
“We found absolutely no difference on most indicators between certified and non-certified tea plantations — both had very, very serious forms of labour exploitation.”
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