Worker on a tea plantation in Kenya
Photo: Patrick Meinhardt / AFP
More than 70 women have told the BBC about widespread sexual abuse at tea plantations owned by British companies.
Undercover footage also shows how supervisors on plantations owned by Unilever and James Finlay, among others, urged an undercover reporter for the station to have sex.
Explosive: According to the broadcaster, the London-based group Unilever had already been confronted with similar allegations ten years ago.
At that time, the company announced a zero-tolerance policy and introduced a reporting system.
However, the grievances apparently persisted.
Infected with HIV
A BBC employee posed undercover as a worker looking for work.
She was invited to an introductory meeting at a facility then operated by Unilever.
There, a department head gave a speech to his new employees about Unilever's alleged zero-tolerance policy.
He then invited "Katy" to meet him in a hotel bar that evening and tried to urge her to have sex with him.
She could hardly imagine "how this encounter would have gone if my whole life depended on this job opportunity," the reporter later said.
She reported the incident to Unilever, but was told it was her responsibility to "stand by her principles" and "not give her body for a job."
Unilever later said it was "deeply shocked and saddened" by the incidents.
The group sold the company while the research was still going on.
The new owner is Lipton.
The two managers concerned were immediately suspended and an investigation ordered, the group said.
The situation is apparently similar in other companies.
Many bosses appear to promise women that if they comply, they will be assigned to less dangerous or strenuous work, according to the BBC.
Some workers also reported being threatened with dismissal.
'I can't lose my job because I have children,' said one of the BBC's wives.
"It's just torture: He wants to sleep with you, only then will you get a job," reports another.
Another woman told the broadcaster that she contracted HIV because her boss forced her to have sex.