• Deadline for AVPA Herbal and Infusion Producers Extended to Sept. 21, 2023

    AVPA 2022 Winners
    AVPA Teas of the World Contest Winners 2022

    Special Effort to Attract Tea From Lesser Known Tea Lands

    By Dan Bolton

    AVPA is a non-governmental, non-profit organization mainly composed of producers and taste enthusiasts. AVPA’s annual Teas of the World contest offers more value than a medal. Services include tasting workshops, technical support, and distributor staff training.

    During the past six years, the organization has elevated the status of tea and herbal producers, large and small, not only on the global stage but in their local markets. Teas must be traceable from origin and cannot be chemically flavored. A technical jury of professionals evaluates the teas, followed by a gastronomic jury of enthusiasts that mirror consumer preferences. The deadline to enter is Aug. 31, 2023.

    Register at AVPA.FR (Agence pour la Valorisation des Produits Agricoles)

    Over the last five years, there’s been a steady increase in how many producers entered the competition, says Ksenia Hleap, Development and Communications Director at AVPA. “Last year, we had more than 300 participants, 33% more than the previous year,” she said.

    This year is very rich in possibilities for us. We are in contact with all producing countries for monovarietal, infusion blends, and herbal teas. Unfortunately, not all tea boards respond. The difficulties sometimes are just the way of communication because we contact the tea boards in every country. We are also contacting the associations and tea cooperatives. So, it depends on the countries and their desire to promote tea producers,” she said.

    Related: AVPA Has More than a Medal to Offer

    Hleap said the product recognition in Paris, the capital of gastronomy, gives contest winners a big possibility to communicate about this, to showcase the logo of the medal on their packaging, and to promote their tea or their products all over the world but first of all in their local market because this is an international recognition. Even those who do not earn a medal benefit, she explains.

    “All our participants are winners because they dare to register for the contest and sell their products. Unfortunately, not all of them are winners this year, but they will probably be next or another because they are doing a very great job. They are putting their hearts and time into what they are doing,” she said.

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    Ksenia Hleap manages development and communications at AVPA (Agence pour la Valorisation des Produits Agricoles)

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  • CVC May Sell Kericho Tea Estates | Dunkin’ Launches Hard Iced Tea and Coffee

    CVC Capital Partners may sell Kenyan tea estates purchased from Unilever in July 2022
    CVC Capital Partners may sell Kenyan tea estates purchased from Unilever in July 2022

    CVC Capital Partners Exploring Sale of Kericho Tea Gardens: Unilever Brands Not for Sale

    | Dunkin’ Will Soon Begin Selling Hard Tea at Select US Grocery and Packaged Liquor Locations in 12 States
    | A Study Using UK Biobank Data Shows Tea May Lower the Risk of Gout

    Tea News for the week ending Aug 11
    Hear the Headlines | Seven-Minute Tea News Recap

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    Phil Rushworth, one of the owners of Ottawa-based ZhenTea, loves adventure camping, canoeing, climbing, and hiking. This week, he describes teas and techniques to help tea lovers enjoy special moments in the great outdoors.

    Listen to the Interview
    Phil Rushworth, co-founder of ZhenTea, Ottawa, Canada

    Turmoil Makes Kericho Tea Estates a Highly Visible Liability for Investors

    By Dan Bolton

    The private equity group that paid 4.5 billion Euros for Unilever’s tea business in July 2022 is discussing the sale of the Kenyan gardens and factories supplying its popular tea brands, including Lipton Tea and Infusions, according to the Financial Times,

    The newspaper reports three sources with detailed knowledge of the CVC Capital Partners’ plans.”The Kericho plantation has a history of violence and sexual abuse allegations. Protests in recent months led to the death of one tea worker, torching several tea harvesting machines, theft of tea, and acts of vandalism.

    A Lipton spokesperson quoted in the news report said the company had received a number of unsolicited inbound expressions of interest in our estates and would “review this strategic question at the right point in time.”

    The spokesperson said that if CVC sold the plantation, it would retain the rest of the business, which processes and markets tea under several brands, including PG Tips, Brooke Bond, and Pukka Herbs.

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  • JDE Peet’s Will Withdraw Global Tea and Coffee Brands from Russian Market

    Dr. Roshan Rajadurai
    Hayleys Plantations Managing Director Dr. Roshan Rajadurai addresses the International Plantations Sustainability Summit in Colombo, Sri Lanka
    Tea News for the week ending Aug 4

    | Sustainable Practices are Correlated to Brand Loyalty
    | JDE Peet’s Will Halt Sales of its Best-Known Tea Brands in Russia
    | The UN Global Peace Council Honors WomenServe Founder Nioma Narissa Sadler

    Hear the Headlines
    Hear the Headlines | Seven-minute Tea News Recap

    The recently concluded International Plantations Sustainability Summit hosted by The World of Hayleys in Colombo, Sri Lanka, last week encouraged tea professionals to visualize “Reimagined | Redesigned | Resilient” large-scale tea plantations in Sri Lanka and beyond. Forum attendees, at the invitation of Hayleys Plantations Managing Director, Dr. Roshan Rajadurai, forged new pathways for collaboration and integration of Sustainable Development Goals into modern plantation strategies. 

    Listen to the Interview
    Hayleys Plantations Managing Director Dr. Roshan Rajadurai with Anuruddha Gamage, General Manager of Human Relations & Corporate Sustainability at Kelani Valley Plantations

    Forum Offers Long-term Solutions for Tea Plantations

    By Rasika Galhena | PMD Tea

    Anuruddha Gamage, the General Manager of Human Relations & Corporate Sustainability at Kelani Valley Plantations, spent the past two years identifying ways to integrate the BIO (Biosphere), GEO (Geosphere), SOCIO (Social), and ECONO (Economy) elements of sustainable tea. Participants, drawn from government, academia, NGOs, and research institutes, met in pre-summit workshops to identify the unique, sustainable factors that define the long-term solutions for current challenges. He reports that climate change was top of mind.

    As the architect of the summit, Hayleys Plantations Managing Director Dr. Roshan Rajadurai seized what he called “a unique opportunity to bring together stakeholders to share best practices and drive long-term change.”

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  • Trustea Celebrates 10th Anniversary

    Sr. Manager Assurance, Anandita Ray Mukherjee
    Sr. Manager (System Assurance) Anandita Ray Mukherjee listens to women workers at a trustea member tea garden.
    Tea News for the week ending July 28

    | Kenya’s KTDA Chair Resigns Following Tea Reforms Conference
    | Nestle Announces Cost-Effective Sugar Reduction Technology
    | AriZona Unveils a Hard Iced Tea – Monster Tea is Next

    Hear the Headlines
    Hear the Headlines | Seven-Minute Tea News Recap

    Trustea was launched in 2013 by tea industry stakeholders, and producers determined to elevate the quality of India’s domestic tea. Today 65% of the tea produced in India adheres to the trustea Code. This month, trustea celebrates ten years of service, improving the competitiveness of tea gardens by positively influencing the practices and scale of production, farm organization, processing, new technologies, and supply chain development. We invited Rajesh Bhuyan, Director of the trustea Sustainable Tea Foundation, to describe’s trustea’s impact and plans for the decade ahead, including a Seal on Pack label to inform consumers of brand compliance with the code.

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    Rajesh Bhuyan, trustea

    KTDA David Ichoho Withdraws Lawsuit Alleging His Resignation Was Forced

    By Dan Bolton

    The reason for the abrupt resignation of Kenya Tea Development Agency (KTDA) chairman David Muni Ichoho effective July 14, remains a matter of speculation.

    Ichoho submitted a one-sentence handwritten letter of resignation on July 13, shortly after the conclusion of a Tea Reforms Conference chaired by Kenya Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua. No reason was cited. Ichoho was elected to the post two years ago and awarded a contract that expires in June 2024.

    Ichoho immediately filed a lawsuit alleging he was coerced to resign. Several KTDA board members, the agency’s secretary, and CEO, joined the suit supporting Ichoho.  The Kiambu tea factory directors called the ouster an “unprocedural dethronement.” The High Court agreed and temporarily barred the suspension of his contract.

    Enos Njiru Njeru was named Chairman the following Monday.

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  • Unrelenting Heat is Lowering Tea Yields

    Merrill J. Fernando with sons Dilhan (left) and Malik
    Merrill J. Fernando with sons Dilhan (left) and Malik
    Tea News for the week ending July 21

    | Global Average Air Temperatures Reach a New High
    | Herbal Tea Market Growth is Accelerating
    | Dilmah Tea Founder Merrill J Fernando Passes at 93

    Hear the Headlines
    Hear the Headlines | Seven Minute Tea News Recap

    Pradeep Kumar Sacitharan is an expert in business development with a passion for assisting online entrepreneurs in dealing with disruptions like the tea industry is facing. He is CEO of London-based Donsfield, a trade development firm that buys and builds successful global brands. Pradeep writes that “growth in life is to be able to take bigger risks at a faster pace at every stage.”

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    Pradeep Kumar Sacitharan on building a successful online tea brand.

    Unrelenting Heat Lowers Tea Yields

    By Dan Bolton

    China, Africa, and India are experiencing such intense heat that summer tea yields have dropped.

    Oppressive temperatures greatly restrict the time pluckers can spend in the heat, and in several global hot spots, tea bushes are dropping their leaves.

    Le Monde reports that ten months after the exceptional heatwave that hit China in the summer of 2022, the region’s tea growers are still suffering the consequences.

    “We’ve had at least 40% less production,” said Wu Wen, a Longjing grower in Hangzhou. “But we’re not the worst affected: look,” she said, pointing to three dead plants dumped on the edge of the neighboring field.

    Click to Read More Tea Biz News