THE TEA INDUSTRY IS OLD, OUTDATED AND MURKY.
It's established a complex system of processors, distributors, importers, exporters, auction houses, warehouses, buyers and sellers. All of these play a part in distancing the consumer from the producer, making it very difficult to understand where the tea we drink comes from, and how much those who produce it are paid.
It's time for a new way of doing things. We're LoveTea, and we're here to do just that.
We're building the UK's first ethical, premium tea cooperative. If you haven't seen our handy explainer video as to what a cooperative is, check it out here. We've broken our approach down into the following four steps, which should hopefully make it clear in what we're trying to do and why.
... together a community of tea lovers, all of whom want the same thing: Incredible tasting tea, substantially cheaper than the supermarket equivalent, and that's kind to people and planet.
Using our size and purchasing power, identify and form long-lasting relationships with the farmers we want to work with. Skipping the traditional tea supply chain and going direct will enable us to pass the savings onto you as the consumer, whilst paying our farmers a higher price too.
... the infrastructure required to enable our farmers in Malawi to not only pick the tea they grow, but also process and pack it on-site too. Traditionally this is done at the country of distribution, so in our case a factory in the UK. To do this our own way, we'll be combining the funds gained from your pre-paid tea orders along with our own investment, to generate the cash required to do so.
By investing in these facilities at origin we begin our mission to making tea a force for good. The facilities we plan to build will provide new employment to the local area, along with new semi-skilled job opportunities too, subsequently boosting the local economy. In time, we plan to build additional facilities on our farms such as schools and hospitals, which we'll achieve through the continued success and support of LoveTea.
... the lives of the very producers that pick, process and pack the tea we sell, and transform the way tea is thought of today. We want to reduce the disconnect between producers and consumers, and we believe empowering both groups with the knowledge the require is the way to do that.
Our pricing will be 100% transparent. This means we'll be crystal clear as to who's in our supply chain, and what they get paid, right down to the tea picker. Most importantly though, this means paying our producers a wage that is sustainable and fair. Right now we can't say the exact price as we haven't sourced the tea, but we can guarantee it'll be at least 30% higher than the FairTrade premium.
Our sourcing will be 100% traceable. This means tracing the tea you drink right back to the farm it was grown on, and by the family that grew it.
Our teas and all packaging will be 100% plastic free.
... tea as you've never had it before. We're not just talking a great-tasting tea however you make it. We're talking a tea that does good at origin too. It's a new way of thinking and working, and we can't wait to have you onboard.
If you've any questions or thoughts, please do get in touch.
George and Jack