Every day, I like to settle down to a nice cup of tea, ideally with a biscuit. Maybe you do the same? Or you treat yourself to a coffee, and give the kids some cordial or maybe a hot chocolate?

Maybe you’ve heard some nasty things about the industries that make those treats, though? You could have heard that forced labour is disturbingly common in the sugar industry - as well as some parts of the tea industry. Or that prices for coffee and cocoa are so low that families often have to pull their kids out of school and set them to work on the family farm, just to make ends meet.

How can you make sure your relaxing cuppa is slave-free?

That’s where we can help! Just Kai has just released our morning tea guide, which covers slave-free options for:

logos of WFTO, Fairtrade, Rainforest Alliance and Bonsucro

We’ve gone through the major brands sold in supermarkets in Aotearoa, looking for products with independently-certified slave-free supply chains. We’ve found lots of tea, coffee and hot chocolate that’s certified slave-free by either Fairtrade or Rainforest Alliance, as well as a few certified slave-free by the World Fair Trade Organisation. Look on the packaging for the certification logos above, or check out the guide for more information.

In addition, most Griffins chocolate biscuits are made with cocoa certified slave-free by the Rainforest Alliance - look for the wee frog logo.

When it comes to sugar, Countdown’s own brand is certified slave-free by Bonsucro, and Trade Aid’s by WFTO. Sugar grown in Australia is also low-risk due to the strong labour laws there. Arnotts biscuits use Australian sugar, as do Roses lemon and lime cordials and the Schweppes cordial range.

Lastly we’ve found a couple of brands that use ‘in-house’ processes to ensure their supply chain is slave-free. Usually we don’t support brands that do that, but in this case we think their processes are sufficiently transparent that we can recommend them. They are:

  • Starbucks at home (which do coffee capsules and instant coffee)
  • Dilmah tea (Dilmah mostly sells black and green tea, but also have a small herbal range)

If you click through to our guide, you’ll find plenty of brands you’ll recognise: L’OR coffee capsules, Bell tea, milo hot chocolate and Griffins chocolate biscuits. The supermarkets are also stepping up in this area with their own brand products: you’ll see Pams tea bags on our list, as well as Countdown own brand tea, coffee (in many formats!), sugar and hot chocolate. More and more supermarkets are stocking Trade Aid products, too, which include ground coffee and coffee beans, as well as sugar and hot chocolate.

You should be able to cover off most of your needs as part of your regular supermarket shop, but there are a few things you’ll need to look elsewhere for.

If you’re after decaf instant coffee you’ll need to check out your local health food shop or look online for Clipper instant decaf, the only brand we currently recommend. If it’s decaf tea you’re after, though, your local supermarket likely stocks Bell decaf tea bags. Countdown sells own brand flavoured coffee sachets (the cafe-style ‘frothy coffee’ sticks), but if there isn’t a Countdown near you you’ll need to look at The Warehouse for the Mokate Gold range.

What if you’re stocking tea and coffee supplies for a large office? Or you need enveloped single-serve products for your conference centre or motel? We have you covered there, too. Check out our recommendations for products in larger quantities, enveloped products and even a couple of vending machine concentrates. Most are available at office supply stores, although you’ll need to go directly to the brand/importer for a few. The only things we don’t yet have recommendations for are individually wrapped biscuits (although we can recommend biscuits by the carton), and both larger and single-serve quantities of cordial.

We were particularly pleased to discover the ONE range of enveloped products. They include the full range (plunger and instant coffee, black and green tea, sugar and hot chocolate) and are Fairtrade certified. All the products we recommend are checked for child labour and forced labour, but Fairtrade goes beyond that and also ensures price stability and better working conditions for the farmers.

Hopefully this taster has given you confidence a slave-free cuppa is well within reach! For more, check out our guide. We also have a downloadable pdf that you can take with you when you shop.