Global Business of Forced Labour Final Report
Research on the topic of forced labour has focused almost entirely on the big brand businesses at the top of the supply chain, rather than the worksites that actually deploy and manage forced labour and exploitation, which usually involve much smaller and more informal business actors. However, the overwhelming and singular focus on multi-national corporations (MNCs) at the top of supply chains has hindered our understanding of some of the broader patterns surrounding the business dynamics of forced labour in the global economy.
Designed to address this gap, the Global Business of Forced Labour project – led by Genevieve LeBaron at the Sheffield Political Economy Research Institute (SPERI), University of Sheffield – is a first-of-its kind international research study investigating the business models of forced labour in global agricultural supply chains. The project has systematically mapped the business of forced labour, focusing on case studies of cocoa and tea supply chains.
Through extensive primary research in the cocoa industry in Ghana and the tea industry in India and with domestic and international business actors, the project generated an original dataset that
sheds light on the drivers and patterns of forced labour in agricultural supply chains feeding UK markets. This dataset includes in-depth interviews with over 120 tea and cocoa workers, a survey
of over 1000 tea and cocoa workers, and over 100 interviews with business and government actors.