1. Home
  2. News
  3. Lever Brothers project scoping survey published

Lever Brothers project scoping survey published

The Leverhulme Trust was established in 1925 with a bequest from the will of Lord Leverhulme in the form of shares in his company, Lever Brothers (which in 1930 merged with Margarine Unie to form Unilever). Unilever is funding independent research to investigate Lever and his business operations in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and the Solomon Islands at the beginning of the twentieth century, where there is evidence of the illegal use of forced labour and other mistreatments. Recognising the legacy we share with Unilever, the Leverhulme Trust is engaging fully with the research and the findings emerging from it.

An initial scoping survey available here has summarised what is already in the public domain regarding the Lever Brothers’ activities in the DRC and the Solomon Islands. This scoping survey was written by Dr Josephine Tierney at the University of Liverpool, overseen by the renowned academic, Professor Charles Forsdick, and by a panel of independent experts administered by the Royal African Society.

The scoping survey documents the highly distressing labour practices on the DRC and Solomon Island plantations owned by Lever, including mistreatment, forced labour and abusive practices. The Trust deeply regrets that so many individuals suffered much in these operations.

The scoping survey has also identified a number of important questions that the research will attempt to answer. The final report will be published in full and is expected to be completed in October 2023.

More news
10 Jun 2022
Wreck of historic royal ship discovered ...
A selection of discoveries © UEA   The wreck of one of the most famous ships of the 17th century – which sank 340 years...
06 Jun 2022
Tomislav Friščić awarded Leverhulme I...
The Leverhulme Trust Board is pleased to announce the second of five winners of its 2021 Leverhulme International Professorships. These...
Keep in touch
Sign up for our funding bulletin to receive:
  • details of scheme opening dates and deadlines
  • advance notice of changes to award criteria
  • listings of grants made
  • a PDF of our newsletter, containing short articles describing recently funded research.
Our e-bulletin is aimed at research support staff, current grant holders and those considering making an application.
The Leverhulme Trust
1 Pemberton Row
General enquiries
020 7042 9888