Tea Biz
Tea Biz

Episode · 8 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.

Folthe teep is podcast, delivers tenews that you need to know a recap of the week's major headlines withcommentary and cultural trends hosted by Danhol is the voice of origin for tprofessionals, eenthusis, t rofine, think of U, as a Digital Caravan ofstory, tellers bringing authentic, authoritative, exotic and exclusivestories to you, weekly from the Te Ledge each week, the Tbhis podcast summarizesnews with the greatest impact on the tea industry, but tea requires far morenuanced coverage than the recitation of production volumes and commodity prices.That is why the T bis podcast is paired with a more inclusive tea, Biz blog andT journey magazine. The podcast offers a weekly mix of news and features. Itis innovative and interactive, permitting listeners to convenientlycontact reporters at origin to ask questions that are answered via textmessages that are delivered privately to their phone. Welcome. Here are the headlines. USRestaurant Rescue Funds, total twenty eight point: six billion the EYU reviews, pesticide rules, t thief, Flavin inhibits coronavirus,replication and plant, a GE, a nine billion dollar startup promises fieldto plate, tracability more a minute. The first. Thisimportant message Avanney empowers rural women practicingsustainable agriculture, including tea and crafts such as weeving with naturalfibre and plant base dies up in the towering Helelean Juman isone of Indias oldest tea regions to day we raise our cups in the name of AvaniQuma, a non prophet dedicated to strengthening farming communities,cheers to a brighter future for all to donate visit, Avonney Dash, Qumon, Dutork US restaurant rescue funds. The onepoint: Nine trillion dollar American rescue plan signed into law last weekincludes twenty eight point: Six Billion Tor rescue us restaurants. Thefunds provide dead, free relief of small and midsized restaurants.Applications for PEA, themed, restaurants, small cafe chains and tearooms will be accepted by the small business administration beginning inApril funding eligibility includes Franchies with fewer than twentylocations so long as there not publicly traded. The President of the NationalRestaurant Association said the grants quote, will inject a much neededstimulus alone, the supply chain to begin to balance the economic damagedone and quote. The rescue plan extends more toriumsuntil September, allocating five billion to help business, tenantsstruggling to pay rent government funded grants or Capt. at ten millionper restaurant group and five million per location grants are calculated as the difference.In average monthly revenue earned in two thousandan nineteen minus averagemonthly revenue earned in two thousandand twenty multiplied byTwelveh...

...business insight, market research, firmIRI in Chicago writes that consumer habits formed during the pandemic maybe here to stay. One clear winner is retail loyalty points. Eighty per cent of generations, Z,subscribe to free grocery loyalty programmes and seventy nine per cent ofgeneration x. A majority of Millenniuls, however, at sixty eight per cent preferpaid online loyalty programs overall. Fifty one per cent of respondence citedshopper, loyalty programs as somewhat influential when deciding were to shopwith twenty two per cent indicating loyalty. Programms are extremelyeffental when deciding where to shop, since pesticize can have harmfuleffects on the environment and human health. They are strictly regulated bythe European Union in recent years. The e? U adopted a Green Deal directivethat seeks to reduce the use and risk of emicalpesticides and Erbicides the EUSE subsequent use of pesticiderules, known as Su d applied to both aggprofessionals and to the public, butthey are not legally binding. In January, the European Commissionidentified quote significant shortcomings and the implementationapplication and enforcement indquote of the issue d directive by member statesand launched a period of public consultation to determine whether therules should be mandatory. The SOU D directive could result in afifty percent reduction of chemical pesticides. According to some estimates,commissioners made it clear. The Sud is not inforcible as law unless adopted byparliaments of the member states. The comment period ends April, Twelfth Business in sight in East Africa, growvers areexperiencing the worst locust outbreak in seventy years. Ambitious locals arecapitalizing on the fact that Lucas become lethargic after dark and easyprey. In February, the bog picture opinioned firm. That processes, insectsinto animal feed, but two point four metric tones of locusts teams of twentyfive to thirty workers sustainably and organically, eliminate up to fourhundred kilos of the crop, killing pests between sunset and sunrise, daily,earning five dollars for every ten kilos. No pesticides are required. T thioflaban inhibits coronavirus,replication, a healthy died in plenty of sleep arbest at boosting immunity from the corona Irus, but those stricken withcovid nineteen may benefit from also drinking tea. Researchers at Tokli Tra,a branch of India's Tea Research Association, have demonstrated thequote virus inhibiting benefits of Black Tea and quote, writes joy, DeepFukan, who manages the Research Center in Ohat of Sam Sighting Studies published in theJournal of biomilecular structure and dynamics and in the gournal frontiersand immonology director Doctor Ak...

Lauroa rigts, the variance of thebioactive compound theol Flavon Act on multiple targets of the coronavirus,affecting the stability and blocking the binding sites of bio proteins. The formation of special bonds inhibitreplication of the virus. He said that harnessing the health properties of teawill pave the way for extensive use of bioactives. That will immensely help topopularize black tea in India. Plant AG is a nine billion dollarstartup that promises feel to plate tracability investors confident that pracability isa bankable attribute, have invested eight billion in public private bonds,with an additional eight hundred million in cash to fund plant. A G EEuis based open source blockchain documented vertical farminginfrastructure project IBM's food tress software will manage gigabytes oflogistics, cultivation and processing data on greehouse grown leaf, lettuce,strawberries and tomatoes, Mausel, hail and blueberries, half of the fruit and a third of thevegetables sold and grocery stores is imported, often traveling along a monthlong supply. Shame plant. A G intends to shorten the chainto three days founder cream. ISHKOM is built in greenhouses no further thaneight hours from urban centers harvesting. At for a am means. Thecompany will eventually be able to provide a third of Americans freshproduce within seventy two hours. Business in sight, Consumers Scanning Plant AG Bonicglabels with their phones, will be able to see where the food is grown, makingtrace pacts in the event of contamination, practical and quick andleading to greater accountability at origin, addressing nateous food safety,but sustainable practices and labor conditions read a full account by cliffraney in this month's Fast Company magazine, fair weather across Asia, bulds wellfor the early harvest. Here is this week's tea price report in the AppisWatch, Mach Seventeenth, sail ten ended with auctions and Colcata Ande, not andKomboto. Cociin conooed in the south wet no significant change in pricescompared to the previous week. At this time I's the dusty that's being pickedup by buyers. We should begin to see the upward shift in prices as t regionsacross the country received Rainchar's. As was hoped, the producers wererelying heavily on this rain. Tajiling has begun first flush but lowerelebation gardens already into TJ markings, while those entire elevationsare producing ex OL lies on April for the full picture of Indian first flush,but it appears that the season will meet expectations and now a word from our sponsor dow trade teas works with tea perveyorsand every scale from promising startups to the world's largest multinationalbeverage brands in the hot iced and bow t secends with US based formulation,blending and packaging services. Hug Trade can help. You innovate scale upand Ghrow. Your specialty t braand for more information visit our website qtrade tescom this week, Tabiz continues its coverageof how Japain's tea industry...

...successfully met the challenges ofmarketing tea a decade after the disastrous earthquake, Sunami and meltdown of t a nuclar power plant in Fukushima, and we trae to India to discuss apandemic pivot with Rudres chattergy managing director of the loxmy group, radie went to fall out from the FukoshiMidiashe melt down, descended in plumes far north and east of Japan's teagrowing region losses were significant and Shazoka Doit to factory closings,where lightly contaminated tea was concentrated. Japan's tea growingregions were not impacted and continued to evolve initially for going exportsin favor of the domestic market that change beginning in twothousandand. Sixteen, as exports increase from four thousand to fivethousand one hundred metric tons valuation Paked in two thousand andeighteen at one point: five billion yen, largely because of the outside successof Macha, which accounted for forty three per cent of exports last year.According to the Japanese, tea export production, council production remainsat level at eighty thousand metric tons down about twenty percent from all timehighs. Export levels have since plateoued and he valued declined duringthe pandemic. Here testing continues as a precaution that the tea from Japainis safe when accompanied by a food safety certificate, Jason, aing livesin Japan and works in Business Development for Comitoni TA, a GreenTea, blender, customeroaster and Mancha Company that processes more than athousand metric tons annually for Japan's food and beverage companies. I remember exactly why I was when ithappened. Lik Colleague and I all felt it, and then you had that bad feelingas it lasted quite long, but never imagined it would be an earthquake overa thousand colomners away, and we turned on TV right away a small pickuptruck trying to escape with this Sunami ginning on it and eventually washing teit away. It felt very helpless watching that life to this day, I still thinkabout it and hopting the driver and of the passengers are still with us. On average, there are o hundred andfifty earthquakes country wide. What made this one different was theneuclear disaster that followed since we are based in western Japan. Ourcompany is quite fortunate, as disaster didn't have any sinifent impact on ourdaily operations, but before Disaster Tho already challenges in the industrywith the inclining of greent farms combines the radioactive contamnationand tea from eastan Japan, especially for exporting. It definitely did causesupply chain issues and health. concernts Tis did be to an overall strictertesting, enquirements from Japanese and Fon gorment agencies and even thebrands themselves overtime. The Japanese teanstry caught back on Speinga very big way and yearby year, Queen T and Matcho, are one of the fastestgranti segments with its health benefits and its wide range of foodapplications. They're really excited to see what the future holds for green teaand for Japan during the pandemic century old loxmygroup, which auctions millions of Kalos of Ta annely to a small catery ofbuyers who purchased twenty thousand Kilo Container lodgs had to quicklyadapt to selling fifty grand packets of tea direct to thousands of consumers. Tthousandand twenty accelerated a shiftto digital media. Upon that many tre...

...producers embraced, did this bring Mocustomers? Does his increased sales is? Is A catalist that the farm to Cupmovement needed? We posse these questions to thedratretigy managingdirector of the hundeplaseroloxmy group, with estates in Mespingal, Sam andSupuraan, India, Andrewanda and Africa producing collectively twenty millionkillows of tea annually? So how was two thouseanty twenty been for? You did youalso ship the selling online? This was the first time that we sold t directlyto consumers, and the reaction is amazing becauseafter all, as growers of tea, it's great to hear from someone who isdrinking that t at home also for us to get feedback one week or two weeks after we producedthe tea. You know because the tea growing is in some ways quite a remoteoccupation. You make the tea. It goes into the auction. You get a date whichis a a few weeks or usually few months of Wat, and then you just see a price and name of acustom and nothing more. But here you're getting emails questions on howto do the t pictures of how they're drinking the teas with fascinating. Forus, we are getting more and more customers from around the world, butalso from customers within whisperbesting, one who are reachingout to us and actually subscribing t entys, not just buying tease, but youknow asking for delivery once a month or once every fifteen dayswhich we love T. it's been very energizing both for me and for mycolleagues who are growing the Te envistit. Do you think selling directto customers online is here to stay. It is not still the dominant way. We saidthe dominant way we sell is the auction and we depend on he options. We dependon the large companies coming and buying tees from the actions. This is avery small part because you know each sale online is for two hundred andfifty grams or five hundredgrams. It's difficult or inconceivable at thispoint for us to imagine that we abl to sell a lot of tea like that. But youknow one thing: I've learned through the panemic is whatever I thought wasinconceivable. It happened, and so I don't know you know what the futureholes, but this is even if it hasn't become a major source of revenue forthe company. It is certainly a major source of conversation. You know which Ta blanders are always great at that you know from WHO bougttheir t from different parts and actually going into googling the placewhere the torder came from and those kind of things itit's. It's it's agreat fun for us, and I don't know whether it'll be a major part, but Ihope it is you n w people see that the tea is great and they continue ordering,at least at the levels that they ordering now a then e can custommyrfavorites from the various laxhmitis. So our most successful has beenmapibery Theagenin, which is not a surprise, because Mapebury has a namethat people recognize, especially you know, people who lived in the ageningat some point, they might have been thro mcebury, and so that is popular.We are seeing quite a bit of demand for green tea and also within India, whichI I am quite surprised. My because I you know greenty was never sold todomestic market. It was always sold to uritter and from there it was esported,but but in general, there's been interest in all arties, whether it isthe wondon tees and the comments are actually very knowledgeable like therewas one comment about how the Ondankis are very bright in color, which isexactly the n the right description for...

...it. You know and that's the tast ofidescription. It's a brisk and bright tea, and the discussion of the first flash wasthe second flush in the agily power, the first flushis mellow. Also, I think,people being at home. They probably had more time to brew the team. The right way. Peopleare much more curious when their bi from their state, you know how is itbeing grown and what? What kind of Toms to we duing this time of the year. Sothose kind of conversations are very encouraging. What would you say at theadvantages of selling direct to customers? One of the really interesting outcomes of beingable to sell the team is that there is a better margin for producers when theyby when they selrat. You know ther can be much more fair trate and whatpercentage of the revenue of these D packets can go to the people who areworking and those discussions, because we don't see the front tend of thebusiness as produces and the front tent of the business were retailers. Theydon't see the issues that we are eaning with either. So, even if we do very little of you know the whollGavment, even if it's you know five percent of our business, we understandthe whole issue and the challenges of challenges which are very difficult ofthe Solt, the the workers, their wages, their education, their health in anenvironment where there is no margin in the business as a producer. Yet there'ssignificant prices at the Finyou Conzuma bits. You know you know howmuch of that is going into packaging on advertising on other things and howmuch of it should come to w developing elviar environment at the productionsect. So all these conversations, I think, are things that will become morerelevant and more discussed. As you know, we run the whole gament even fora small part of our business. Has it been challenging to get online andadopte this new way of business? It hasn't been challenging at all. TSTATESare designed for sending samples and we are sending samples to buyus around theworld regularly. I just happens to be be to be biased so, and we do have acareer system that works and someone who knows how to you know make thatwork so doing a BTC sale. I guess the volumes are so small that it's okay, Ithink. If the volumes ere to get bigger, then we need to train some people whoare in their state, which would be a fantastic fantastic thing for thepeople in Trot train workers to become you know, logistic sguys that willb.That will be a great opportunity for the work as as well so I I'm I'm quittexcited overall, we I actually have set up an alot every time, there's a sale,so it happens for five times, but every time it happens, you know I justwatched up it to the manager. Who'se produce, ety and any email is immediately answeredbecause people are very excited and it is just the that the knowledge of what the customersays, Oer the word, what they think about. You know the brewing, and youknow there was one comment of someone saying that I know that you're notsupposed to have that Geteim with milk, but I love my dodgering with milk andthe manager say that if you want it with milk, maybe Il make a littlestronger Ruan send to something, and it was. It was something that is, you know,as a consumer im very excited as well. You know to actually be able to be anindividual customer asking for your own. You know, processed product in aproduct like team is, like you know, form many consumerstuse, like sugar ormilk. You never thought that Ho could get. It changed based on yourpreference, but you can it's a it's cooking right. So if you want your teawith milk, you have to just make sure that the you have a stronger leaf,which you know bols that man, and so...

...all of these things are. I think it'sit's a good move, and you know combined with the fact that I'm also seeingbecause I was a potel in one of her estates that came o start a few monthsago. I've actually seen people visit the testates so that combination ofhearing from customers and seeing customers in the TS tate is first timefor more than a hundred years history of lushmit that this is happened. Soit's quite amazing intrigue by what you heard in today'spondcast. Would you like to learn more from our global network of PBISjournalist and T xperts contact them direct through some text? Privatemessage based flatform, avoid the chaos of Socialy and start aconversation that mat subtext message based platfum lets you privately askmeaningfor questions of the txpeso academics, TVs, journalist, forforty. You see their responses, O ye SMS Tex,which Your Sen Directo your fom visit our website and subscribe to subtext ainstantly connected. The most connected pelinty remember to visit the TBS website formore comprehensive coverage. Thats wwwt, hyphen, bizz, Beya, Zi Datcam, thanksfor listening farewell till next week,.

In-Stream Audio Search

NEW

Search across all episodes within this podcast

Episodes (49)