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How ethical and sustainable is Tetley?

Tetley is a well-known tea brand most of us will be familiar with. However, it’s astonishing how unethical a cup of this brand’s tea can be. Tetley had the lowest score on the Ethical Tea Ratings Table for this category. Tetley only managed to score in the top percent of brands for one of our research categories: Animal Welfare. Tetley has a lot of improvements to make before The Good Shopping Guide can agree to award Ethical Accreditation. But we do hope to see some of these improvements in the near future.

What is Tetley and what does it do?

Since 1837, Tetley has been producing tea. A vibrant, international tea business that is socially just and environmentally sustainable is what the company claims it wants to contribute to. Tetley asserts that this is the reason why the company joined the Ethical Tea Partnership and only purchases tea from Rainforest Alliance-certified farms.

The company Tetley was founded in Yorkshire, England. Tetley first developed a line of caffeine-free tea in 2007, and then in 2014 they unveiled the “Super Tea” line with “added vitamins.”

Where does Tetley score well as a brand ethically?

Tetley does rank well in our Animal Welfare category. This means that this brand has no substantiated claims against it for animal testing or animal cruelty.

How can Tetley improve its ethical rating?

Tetley has many areas to improve in. The brand desperately needs to take action to improve its standpoints on ethical issues such as the availability of organic and Fairtrade products, its support of Nuclear industries, Genetic Modification, and Political Donations. The Tata group, who own this brand, openly supported Nuclear power and using it within the manufacturing process of its products. The group also openly supports and researches the use of Genetic Modification in its products.

Ethical Accreditation for tea brands with The Good Shopping Guide

So while Tetley may need to revise its business ethics in order to qualify for The Good Shopping Guide’s Ethical Accreditation, there are many ethical and sustainable tea brands out there. See our Ethical Tea Ratings Table to see the tea brands that have successfully qualified for this certification of business sustainability and ethics. If you own or work for a tea brand with ethics at its heart, why not get in touch to find out more information about Ethical Accreditation? Or, to get your Ethical Accreditation journey started today, fill out our initial assessment form.

Ethical performance in category


GSG score


GSG category benchmark


Ethical Rating


  • Environmental Report


  • Genetic Modification


  • Organic


  • Nuclear Power



  • Animal Welfare



  • Armaments


  • Political Donations


  • Fairtrade



  • Ethical Accreditation


  • Public Record Criticisms


= GSG Top Rating = GSG Middle Rating = GSG Bottom Rating