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Additional info for 50 Reasons to Buy Fair Trade
Only in Ireland and Poland do people drink more tea. Most tea is plucked on plantations, notably in India, Sri Lanka, China and Kenya. Tea plantations are labour-intensive, with planting, maintenance and harvesting usually carried out by hand. The crop is picked year-round in tropical areas, mostly by women with baskets or bags on their backs to carry the leaves plucked from the growing tips of the shrubs. The leaves are taken to a collection point to be weighed then transported to a nearby processing plant, as they need to be processed on the same day to retain freshness and flavour.
They often use bare hands to mix these chemicals, some of which are banned, yet workers are not provided with masks, goggles, gloves, rubber boots, polythene aprons or other protective gear. Usually they are unaware of the risks, and no compulsory medical check-ups are conducted. When they sustain injuries, their medical care is highly inadequate. The tea industry in India relies on insecticides, pesticides, herbicides and fungicides to protect the tea crop from various diseases and [ 31 ] 7. ENSURE P L A N TAT I O N W O R K E R S E A R N L I V I N G WA G E maintain yields.
Blanca farms three hectares of land in the Matagalpa region in the north of Nicaragua. The country is one of the world’s main coffee [ 36 ] 50 R E A S O N S TO B U Y FA I R T R A D E growing countries and coffee is its primary export crop. Blanca is president of the Cecocafen co-operative of some 1,200 coffee producers. Like other members of the co-operative, she sells about a third of her coffee in the Fairtrade-certified system. Now 47, life for Blanca began the hard way, as it did for many other generations in Nicaragua.