Minister Urges MPs to Go Slavery-Free

Supply chain

Victoria’s Health Minister Mary-Anne Thomas has urged all Members of Parliament to make their electorate offices slavery-free, starting with tea, coffee and chocolate. 

“I am certain that no one in this place wants to drink beverages where there’s slave labour in the supply chains that bring them to us. It’s a simple and small action that can make a significant difference,” Minister Thomas told the Victorian Parliament during her member’s address on 23rd February 2023.

In her address, Minister Thomas introduced to the house, the ACRATH Victorian Advocacy Team’s project around slavery-free staffrooms. Minister Thomas, the member for Macedon, said she and her staff had made the switch at her electorate office in Gisborne. ACRATH’s Victorian Advocacy Team has worked closely with the Minister’s electorate office for two years, raising awareness and seeking a slavery-free workplace. 

“It was great to hear the project announced so clearly and enthusiastically,” said advocacy team member Margaret Leahy. “As part of the project, in March, all Victorian MPs will receive an ‘information pack’ from ACRATH which includes a letter and a poster with an extensive price list for slavery-free tea, coffee and hot chocolate products.”

In the letter to MPs ACRATH writes: “We are asking that you consciously choose coffee, tea and chocolate for your office that is slavery-free. We have included a poster for your kitchen with slavery-free brands, so it’s easy for your staff to know what to buy the next time they are at the supermarket doing the milk run for the first morning coffee. This action will lead to an awareness of slavery-free practices with all the people you share a cuppa with, a great step to take in the fight to eradicate slavery. And we know: your cuppa will taste better”.

Ms Leahy said the project was currently focusing on electorate offices but the next step would hopefully be the Victorian Parliament House.  

Minister Thomas said, “We must, as a collective, contribute to and support grassroots campaigns such as this. By thinking globally but acting locally, we can change the world one cuppa at a time”.

If you would like to assist this project by writing to your local MP, please contact Cindy Bohan, ACRATH’s advocacy leader on 0429 584 943 or at

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