Tea Biz
Tea Biz

Episode · 5 months ago

Tea News and Biz Insight - March 19, 2021

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

HEAR THE HEADLINES

| US Restaurant Rescue Funds Total $28.6 Billion | EU Reviews Pesticide Rules | Tea Theaflavin Inhibits Coronavirus Replication | PLANT-AG is a $9 Billion Startup that Promises Field-to-Plate Traceability

| GUESTRudra Chatterjee, Managing Director of the Luxmi Group, which owns estates in West Bengal, Assam and Tripura in India and Rwanda in Africa producing collectively 20 million kilos of tea annually.

| FEATURES – This week Tea Biz continues its coverage of how Japan’s tea industry successfully met the challenges of marketing tea a decade after the disastrous earthquake, tsunami and meltdown of the nuclear power plant in Fukushima.…. and we travel to India to discuss a pandemic pivot with Rudra Chatterjee, managing director of the Luxmi Group.

Meltdown Led to Tea Industry Realignment in Japan

Radioactive fallout from the Fukushima Daiichi meltdown descended in plumes far north and east of Japan’s tea growing region. Losses were significant in Shizuoka due to factory closings where lightly contaminated tea was concentrated. Japan’s tea growing regions were not impacted and continued to evolve, initially foregoing exports in favor of the domestic market. That changed beginning in 2016 as exports increased from 4,000 to 5,100 metric tons. Valuation peaked in 2018 at 1.5 billion yen, largely because of the out-sized success of matcha, which accounted for 43% of exports, according to the Japanese Tea Export Production Council.

Will the Pandemic and Pivot Online be the Catalyst the Farm-to-cup Movement Needed?

2020 accelerated a shift to digital media, one that many tea producers embraced. Did this bring more customers? Did this increase sales? Is this the catalyst the farm-to-cup movement needed? We posed these questions to Rudra Chatterjee, Managing Director of century old Luxmi Group that auctions millions of kilos of tea annually to a small cadre of buyers purchasing 20,000 kilo container lots. Luxmi quickly adapted to selling 250 gram packets of tea directly to thousands of consumers a pivot that Chatterjee says brought significant benefit.

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