Tea Biz
Tea Biz

Episode · 9 months ago

Tea News and Biz Insight - September 10, 2021


HEAR THE HEADLINES – Sri Lanka Tea Yields Feared to Decline | McLeod Russel Settlement Resolves Insolvency 

| Bangladesh Tea Sector Returns to Pre-Pandemic Production Levels

| NEWSMAKER – Tea History Collection Founder Denys Shortt, OBE  

| GUEST – Henrietta Lovell, founder Rare Tea Co. 

| FEATURES – This week Tea Biz visits with Rare Tea Lady Henrietta Lovell whose passion for tea is exceeded only by her commitment to bettering the lives of those who make it... and then we travel to Banbury, UK to learn how the Tea History Collection is digitizing tea history one tome at a time.

Henrietta Leads the Way

Since founding the Rare Tea Co., in London in 2004, Henrietta Lovell has traveled the globe sourcing direct for the world’s five-star dining rooms and developing relationships at the farm level where her commitment to fair pricing for the finest tea and charitable work set a standard. “If I can make people appreciate tea, it will change the world,” she says.

Tea History Collection

The Tea History Collection in Banbury, UK, founded by Denys Shortt OBE has hosted a full calendar of events since opening in May. This tea industry resource in now undertaking the daunting task of digitizing bound volumes recording the trademark and ownership of colonial gardens from the early days of tea. Listen as Shortt discusses the importance of preserving tea company heritage to be shared online by all.

The Tea Biz podcast delivers tea news that you need to know, a recap of the week's major headlines, with commentary and cultural trends. Hosted by Dan Bolton. It is the voice of origin for tea professionals and enthusiasts worldwide. Think of us as a digital caravan of storyteller bringing authentic, authoritative and exclusive stories to you weakly from the tea lands. Hello everyone here. This week's headlines Trelanka tea yields feared to decline, mcloyd Russell settlement resolves its insolvency and the Bangladesh tea sector returns to pre pandemic production levels. Moren amn in the first this important message. What makes a Perfect Cup of Ceylon tea? The Perfect Cup is from the tea businesses that ensure the protection of all the children living within their tea estates. We Salute Kailani Valley, tell a Wacky Lee, Bogajanthalawa, Harana and Eliptia tea estates support Save the Children Sri Lanka. Trelankan tea grow RS are experienced in the first effects of the countrywide ban on chemical fertilizer and plant production chemicals. After a productive spring, the fall harvest is predicted to decline beginning in October. Herman going to Ruttney, one of forty six experts picked by president to go to buy a router poxa to guide the transition to organic only inputs, told agency press France that he fears the band has drawn the tea industry into complete disarray. Going to Rutney, who manages the Ahangama Tea Estate, said, quote, the consequences for the country are unimaginable. In Rutney was removed from the Green socioeconomy task force after disagreeing with the president. According to AFP, president go to Bay a ordered a halt in inbound shipments of fertilizers last May use to cultivate food crops such as rice, and cash crops including cinnamon and pepper. growers are concerned that plants accustomed to a rich diet of nitrogen and phosphate will take time to adjust to organic compost and manure. Tea is the nation's highest learning export, generating one point two five billion in foreign currency from the sale of three hundred million and kilos annually. She Lanka harvested a hundred eighty eight million kilos through July. Mid Year, crop yields were twenty percent ahead of the half ear mark set in two thousand and twenty, but prices on average were higher last year. Meanwhile, the fiscal crisis facing the country worsened as the Sri Lankan repeat appreciated twenty percent against the US dollar. In British power. Food inflation is at eleven point five percent and long queues at food markets signal shortages. The government has invoked rules that fixed prices and prohibit hoarding at staples such as Patty finished rice and sugar, which briefly increased to two hundred rupees per kilo. Sri Lanka's economy, heavily dependent on tourism, decline three point six percent in two thousand and twenty and foreign reserves are at record lows. Biz inside. During the next month, Ta Biz will interview several key decisionmakers, tea researchers and non government agricultural experts to discuss the pros and cons of switching Sri Lanka to...

...organic only cultivation. India's largest boat tea producer has settled with creditors to resolve its financial peril. PP GOOP DUMB Managing Director of Techno Electric and engineering agreed to terms for repayment of a delinquent hundred Kory, that's fourteen million dollars US loan by mcloyd Russell India, saying, quote, this is now behind us and we wish the company good luck and quote. Techno triggered the insolvency August six by filing a formal application with the National Company Law Tribunal for redrets. Magloyd borrowed the funds in two thousand and eighteen and failed to make timely payments. Due to shortfall and revenue from tea, the company sold troubled tea gardens to meet its obligations, but the sums were insufficient to satisfy creditors. Mcloyd currently owes this lenders approximately one Thousan eighteen hundred Kari, about two hundred and forty five million. A resolution process led by the Reserve Bank of India will now proceed. Mcloyd operates thirty one tea estates in a psalm and two in West Bengal, producing a combined forty four million kilos of tea annually in India, with additional holdings in Africa and Vietnam. Like neighboring a psalm. Bangladesh experienced a spring doubt high temper peratures and the onslaught of the pandemic, but production is ahead of two thousand and twenty totals and estimated to reach pre pandemic levels of ninety six million kilos. The International Tea Committee in London ranks Magladesh ninth among the tea producing countries. The industry there employs three hundred thousand, including Fivezero small holders. Mohammad Moosa, manager at Finlay tea consolidated tea plantations in Bangladesh, rites that quote, plantation work never stopped during the pandemic. Workers were kept isolated in the tea states itself and there were many more safety programs. Government support was encouraging, which really enabled plantations to continue running of the tea activities safely during the pandemic. and quote. Cyrus Faze, executive director at Phaze Tea Estate, reports that the first seven months of the year brought favorable weather. Tea Production has been consistently increasing thanks to the favorable weather and initiatives undertaken by the teaboard. He writes the distribution of fertilizer at subsidized prices started in the gardens at the right time this year, Fausi explains. Bangladesh is a net tea importer. The growers there are optimistic, he writes. Quote. Old Saplings have been removed and new saplings have been planted. The tea planners have increased the scope of tea cultivation by making new investments, he writes, adding if the trend of increasing production continues like this time, then there will be no need to import tea in large quantities. Business insight. Tea Producers in Bangladesh are now at a cross roads, according to Faizi. Improving their marketing performance in both the domestic and export markets has become crucial for survival and growth. Quote. The tea sector has lost its name and fame in recent years, he says. But in light of such challenges, strategies have been adopted in the coming year to meet the demand for tea in and domestic as well as the global market. ARAVENDA and Antherman in Bengaluru reports...

...on India's tea auction prices. India tea price support for the week ending Fourth September. Two Thousand and twenty one saletaty five was largely uneventful. Prices remained similar to the previous week. The market was steady, with better demand in nor India. In the south, prices but better than Saltaty, for for Orthodox tea across Kunu, climbatoor and Kuchi, but percentage of sales is law. On the other hand, US prices were lower than the previous week, but here two percentage of sales was lower. Kohati saw good demand for both leaf and dusties. A comparison of prices for sale thirty five across twenty nineteen, twenty twenty and twenty and twenty one places twenty twenty one between the last two years amongst job buyers. Data consumer products was active for both leaf and dust, while hind the stand Unilever was active for dusties. There were fewer outlots this week Kolkata. So good demand for all tease, particularly Orthodox. The major blenders were active. Data consumer products and exporters were active. For dadgeling tea, prices remain similar to the previous week, with exception of Dage Ling, whose average price dropped by about forty rupees. There were fewer outlots of whole leaf and brokens compared to fannings and secondary ties. This week we also caught off with representatives of the South India Tea Exporters Association, represented by the chairman, t Pukshah, Vice Chairman Ronnie Tarakan and other members. They pointed out of the twin problems that have been relentless this year. One is the rising cost of ocean freight, coupled with non availability of containers, which makes them apprehensive to take even future orders. The second is a problem of pesticize and tea. Members also spoke of changes in export subsidies and the impact on this problem, along with the challenges of competing with producers who directly exporting to buyers. As things stand, they say, we're looking at the last quarter of the year closing with unsold do you once again? And now a word from our sponsor, Q trade. Tea's works with tea purveyors at every scale, from promising startups to the world's largest multi national beverage brands in the hot, fist and bow tea segments. With US based formulation, blending and packaging services, q trade can help you innovate, the scale up and grow your specialty tea brand. For more information, visit our website, q trade tea'scom this week TEAB is visits with rare Tea Lady Henrietta level, whose passion for tea is exceeded only by her commitment to bettering the lives of those who make it. And then we travel to Bender UK to learn how the tea history collection is digitizing tea history one tom at a time. Since founding the rare tea company in London and two thousand and four Henrietta level has traveled the globe sourcing direct for the world's five star dining rooms and developing relationships at the farm level, where her commitment to fair pricing for the finest tea and charitable work set a standard. If I can make people appreciate tea, it will change which the world whoseos, having read Henryetta lovel's fabulously engaging book, infused adventures and tea. Earlier this year with Tea Book Club, I jumped at the chance to chapter Henriette of the tea person found of red tea company, mistress of the artful blend and champion of tea farmers. Join me as the Red Tea lady spills the tea I'm fascinated about the moment someone gets tea. What has been your experience of this? And it's all very interesting. If they've already got a preconception of what tea is, it is harder. So if I've got a young person or and they don't have a very firm,...

...fixed preconception, they might be a little bit more fluid but more open to experiencing new things. So then it's like, Oh, I'd love to try and then Oh, this is amazing, was a delicious but when someone's got a very strong opinion beforehand, then it's a really wonderful revelation because you you know that you're not just making someone fall in love, you're making them change an established thought pattern and it's super exciting. But I don't really do it that he does it. I've got a very privileged position where people would trust me enough now to try things and it's just absolutely wonderful. They think they know what they like and they have that they have a taste of something that just starts to excite them and it's like Oh okay, but they're still faces completely closed and they generally quite silent because they have got nothing to add to they're just there because they've been dragged in and then the face softens, the Body Language Softens and the sort of joy starts to creep into the face, because pleasure is a joy. Let's not forget. It's not just amazing flavors. It's really a sense of euphoria that overcomes you when you discover something that is so beautiful and so joyous. So is they one tea that really captures people? Obviously we will have very different tastes and flavor profiles that we enjoy most, but interestingly it's often either an English breakfast or Jasmine team because we know those teas very well and experience is so extraordinarily wonderful because you think you know something and then it's opened out to you. The jazzin silver tip can be something because it's so clean and bright and fresh and it's scented with jasmine flowers. Not There's no flavoring on the this is just the flowers have given up their scent and it's been absorbed into the tea. That is such an extraordinary experience and it's just it's so extraordinary. They're sort of like I noticed that I don't know, and they feel quite dis combobulated at first and then very joyous. And then the other thing is to do an English breakfast with an industrial tea bag, English breakfast and then earn engs breakfast made of beautiful teas crafted to be something better than the sum of its parts. You try him side by side and then there's this revelation because you probably drunk that industrial tea bag tea ever every day of your life, maybe six times a day, and then you have something that is remarkably better. Like Shit, what have I been missing out on my own life? And that can be a little bit helpful. You can't argue with your taste buds. So when your taste bud say, Oh my God, this is better, you have to just let go of the past and the shame, when the blame or whatever it is, and just go okay, the world is opened out. Whatever their taste background, whatever their profession, whether there are taxi driver or famous chap or its MILIA, everybody can his difference, so it's much more accessible. It's just having that first set. You work directly with farms. What is it about working directly that is so important to you? There's little people here. We're all connected, that sense of community, responsibility to one another and I think that's how we make world change in the tea world. Is that connection that these are people, this is the community, this is a farm, and that's the thing, not this is the name of the varietal, like who made this tea, rather than what variety has made. What's the relation, what's your relationship with them? And are they okay or are they these trying to make it okay? And this isn't I really wanted to mention. Often people speak about farms that produce speciality tea and non speciality tea and like well, if the person who's picking the tea is paid the same for both, well then that's not fair, really good, because then the value of that speciality tea is not getting to the picker. And this is this is not okay and we shouldn't really work with the commercial short farms are producing non speciality tea. There is not a problem with supply in the t world for speciality t there is a problem with demand. That is the problem, right. So it's our job to try and spread the demand and to educate people and to show them that there's a reason and of value, but by much fensivety. But if a farm is trying to come out of a world where they've been reliant on selling commodity te cheaper tea, because that's where...

...the market was. We can't punish them when they're trying to then crease speciality tea, and this makes me so mad. Like and when you talk about wages, they say, well, I shouldn't work with a farm where the wages are low. How are they going to improve the wages? If we are buy more speciality tea, we need to work with these good going to understand that. We need to have relationships a. How do you get so that? They working in a farm in Malaway, wages are low, life inspectives low, standard living is low. How do we make different for how we do it differently? And it's not by only working with a tiny smallholder or tiny farm that just makes speciality t that's part of the solution, but it's not the owner. The Tea history collection and membory UK, founded by dinnish sharp for we, has hosted a full calendar of events such opening and this tea industry resources now undertaking the daunting tsk of digitizing bound volumes recording the trademark and ownership of colonial gardens from the early days of tea. Listen. The short discuss was the importance of preserving tea company heritage to be shared online by all. Behind every sip of tea there is the taste of history. This is donner silver from P M David silver and sons and earlier this year I visited the tea history collection set out by Mr Denny short in Bambarrey in rural England. Denny's is a founder and chairman of DCS Group, a multimillion pound distribution company. He's also the son of an SMT planter, having been born and spending his formative years on Indian tea gardens. Denny's his passion for tea and history has resulted in a unique collection of tea related items that are now housed in a purpose built facility. I sit down to talk about this unique facility, some of the memorable pieces from the collection and why is it important to preserve this history. The Collection House has some very unique and interesting pieces of tea memorabilia. What are some of the standout pieces that visitors will find interesting and what are some of the pieces that you personally found fascinating learning about? I've pulled some pieces together to are around me and they're very they're very random but, you know, I think people find them interesting. The first one is a small tin of tea which says Java Golden Tips, sold in Amsterdam September the twenty, one thousand nine hundred four, and then it has the price per pound and actually the the leaves in the jar. It's a sort of see through jar, look just amazing. I mean it looks in great condition, so obviously that's a hundred and seventeen years old. This one says on it can yet tea, the EA sample of the first consignment to London in on the sixteenth of January one thousand nine hundred and twenty eight. Some people have been raving about this book and it's the Book of factory marks. So it says capital, directors, proprietors, agents, managers and sitsts and their factory marks. So inside this book are all the factory logos, effectively of you know, all these tea gardens, which is just incredible. I think one of the challenges with that book is is just trying to find out how to digitize it because, you know, just even opening it it's very dry and crispy as a book and the pages are kind of falling apart. So again, you know, it's a really important document and getting that information online I think will be very valuable for lots of people. Brian Writer gave us a cabinet full of tea samples. I'm sure everybody will be familiar with the old numbered tea tins, which all have sequential numbers on them, and and these tins are all full of tea samples. There's a bit...

...on the war. You know, we've got some boiling vessels out of a tank because those were very famous. In the Second World War and the first wire war, the army used to have tea to kind of keep them cheerful because war actually just become quite boring. So yeah, and and lots of scales, so the old scales from the S and Hg planet and Co with the people that made those scales, and the cups, the tasting cups, and yeah, it's you know that. It's just a wonderful collection of a variety of many, many things. He's a nation that has made tea the world second most consumed beverage and we're a nation of tea lovers. Why is it so important to protect this history and why is it so vital. The answer to that is multifaceted, but I'll start with talking about companies. So I mean many, many people are familiar with obviously I'm sort of flying the flag for family businesses. So you know a family business takes things very personally. I think you know a lot of the tear states were run by people who take them very personally, you know, their entire career as a cent on a tear state. When large corporations come in, it can be the case where that personal touch gets lost and if you sort of flicked a modern day a lot of these guys running these large corporations are on massive salaries with massive bonuses and share options and their whole aim is to basically sell lots to make lots and lots of profit. I've spoken to quite a few people and sort of Said, Oh, you know, what do you think about the history and the heritage of your company? And you know there's there's sometimes been a bit of a blank. They don't really haven't ever been there or don't really know much about it and you know they're not really that interested in that, that historical importance of even their own business. I think what's happening is a lot of this stuff is actually being lost. When we go back to sort of the very, very old days of some of these family businesses, this stuff just literally get put in in a skip and and thrown away, unless you have a place to keep it. It's important that we preserve things because the chances are that some of these things actually could quite easily just just be thrown away. The second part is really the part of remembering history, is is to get this all digitized, and you know that's my number one aim, is to make sure that all of this can be searched on google. If you look up, for instance, right now, the words tea, planter, Assam on Google, Koi hey is number one, number two and number three on that search engines. That's because we've put that information on the web. If we get all those online, it's going to be amazing, you know. But obviously, you know there's a lot of work. I'm if there's anybody out there who wants to help fund the digitization of all this stuff. You know, it would be great to get some some help along the way. There are some fantastic facilities available at the collection, the tasting bar, the conferencing area. Who Do you see using these? Are they for the general public? Is it more specifically for those in the tea trade? And how does one visit? Is it by dropping or by appointment? Only a lot of people have said to me, you know, Oh you stopen a team museum in London and make a bit, essentially make a profit to do these things. And and obviously everybody will remember that the Brahma Team Museum in London. That when cracking Lee bust. I'm a businessman and you know these things have to have legs. Really the first aim was to make sure these things don't get thrown away into the rubbish. In terms of USABILITY, we're definitely imagining the tea industry using this facility. So the UK tea and infusing association are already using it. So that's a big tick.

We've had some of the Brook Bond family here a few weeks ago. We've had Stephen Twining here yesterday. So you know, if we've got tea people coming through already, which she's exactly what we've plommed it for. Intrigued by what you heard in today's podcast, would you like to learn more from our global network of TBIZ journalists and t experts contact them directly through SUBTEC, private message based Plat avoid the chaos of social media and start a conversation that matters. Sub Text Message based platform let's you privately ask meaningful questions of the t experts, academics and t Biz journalists reporting from the tea lands. You see their responses via s MS texts which are sent to wrect to your phone. visit our website and subscribe to subtext to instantly connect with the most connected people and tea. Remember to visit the TV is website for more comprehensive coverage labs, W W, W B Zob. Thanks for listening. Farewell. You'll next week.

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