Independent Assessment of the Appl Action Plan

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Independent Assessment of the Appl Action Plan
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In 2013 there were many allegations of poor living and working conditions in Amalgamated Plantations Private Limited
(APPL), a company in which Tata Global Beverages Limited (TGBL) is a significant shareholder. In 2014, TGBL requested
Solidaridad to conduct an independent assessment of the living and working conditions in the tea gardens of APPL. The
research carried out by Solidaridad's senior tea industry experts was received by TGBL in early June 2014. TGBL
welcomed the recommendations put forward in this report and worked with APPL and Solidaridad in reviewing the
recommendations for action. Based on a detailed assessment of action areas, requirements and corresponding resources,
APPL is now pursuing a phased Action Plan.
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In 2013 there were many allegations of poor living and working conditions in Amalgamated Plantations Private Limited (APPL), a company in which Tata Global Beverages Limited (TGBL) is a significant shareholder. In 2014, TGBL requested Solidaridad to conduct an independent assessment of the living and working conditions in the tea gardens of APPL. The research carried out by Solidaridad's senior tea industry experts was received by TGBL in early June 2014. TGBL welcomed the recommendations put forward in this report and worked with APPL and Solidaridad in reviewing the recommendations for action. Based on a detailed assessment of action areas, requirements and corresponding resources, APPL is now pursuing a phased Action Plan. However, the Compliance Advisor Ombudsman (CAO) report presented in 2016 was critical of the monitoring process of social and environmental compliances in APPL. At present APPL is implementing a comprehensive and time-bound action plan titled Project Unnati to address shortcomings and legacy issues in major areas such as human health, worker health and safety, housing, and sanitation infrastructure. The target date for several of the action points falls around March 2017. To have continuity with the previous work, Solidaridad did with APPL and given its extensive experience on this subject, Solidaridad was requested to conduct an annual review of the progress made by APPL. It was further requested to identify opportunities for improvement and develop an action plan for any further undertakings in consultation with the APPL management, the Employee Engagement Councils, TGBL, and IFC. The aim of the research were as following: • To conduct a detailed assessment of the status of implementation of the APPL Action Plan and report on their progress clubbed into five broad areas: a) labour issues, b) infrastructure development, c) health and nutrition, d) shares issued to the workers in two estates, Nahorani and Namroop, e) other general areas • To conduct an anonymous employee perception survey using a representative sample to assess their satisfaction with the improvements taking place and what additional initiatives may be needed. • To identify opportunities for improvement and develop a time-bound action plan with the APPL management, the Employee Engagement Councils, TGBL, and IFC. As part of the research we have provided a series of recommendations to improve wherever possible. We do hope that these recommendations would make APPL, as well as TGBL, more competitive in the tea industry. Many of the problems require involvement of all stakeholders in the tea industry and can’t be solved individually by one company. We hope the findings of the study would help in setting up a committee that would work towards attaining some of the shortfalls which still persist. The research was conducted by the team of experienced planters and sustainability professionals comprising of Dr Shatadru Chattopadhayay, Ranjan Circar, SK Das and Uddhab Chandra Sarma. The research was statistically supported by Sanjay Chaubey.
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