| HEAR THE HEADLINES – AVPA Names Teas of the World Winners | Contest entries increased by 21% to more than 300, including several from less well-known origins | India Lifts Tea Blending Ban to the Relief of Darjeeling Growers | Falling Green Leaf Prices Distress Assam Smallholders see Roopak Goswami’s in-depth report on the Tea Biz Blog.
| NEWSMAKER – Nishchal Banskota, Founder Nepal Tea Collective
| FEATURE INTRO – This week, Tea Biz travels to New York, where Nishchal Banskota, founder of the Nepal Tea Collective, shares his vision of a public benefit corporation that shifts the focus to creating value for every stakeholder in tea – not just shareholders.
A Stake for Every Stakeholder in Tea – In 2015 after graduating college in the US, Nischal, who grew up near Ilam farming Nepal’s first certified organic tea garden, returned to open the BG Tea Bar, the first tea bar in Kathmandu. A year later, following a devastating 7.8 magnitude earthquake, he launched Nepal Tea, which has since grown in sales and reputation. Banskota says that he is committed to creating tech-enabled, transparently traded tea. His venture produces award-winning Himalayan teas, sustainably sourced and packaged, bringing jobs to the tea lands that pay double the prevailing wage. Teas are shipped directly to customers worldwide. Every hand-made package is labeled with a QR code that enables buyers to meet the growers at one of three farms. The omnichannel business earns high gross margins selling wholesale and packaged tea. One percent of revenue is reinvested in farming communities, and a tea sapling is planted for every order (10,000 in 2022). Banskota is currently seeking investors on WeFunder with a goal of $600,000. The money will be used to extend the brand to include organic botanicals, make the company’s supply chain more sustainable and construct infrastructure for visiting tea tourists. A three-year goal is to build a modern packaging and fulfillment center in Nepal. The campaign is nearing $200,000. The minimum investment is $250. | https://wefunder.com/nepalteacollective