Interactive Website Launched by Tea 2030

The balance of power across the tea supply chain is shifting as scarcity drives prices and consumers exert their preference for sustainable products, one of 19 factors identified by Tea 2030, a virtual global think tank, seeking insights into how the tea industry will look in 17 years.

Tea 2030 is a collaboration of Tata Global Beverages, Unilever, Yorkshire Tea, Finlays, the Ethical Tea Partnership, IDH – The Sustainable Trade Initiative, Rainforest Alliance, Fairtrade International and The International Tea Committee. The project is managed by global sustainability non-profit, Forum for the Future.Forum for the Future

”In this Tumblr we’re exploring the factors that we think will have the most impact on the tea industry up to 2030. We’ll be building a set of possible future scenarios using these factors – so we’d love to hear your views,” writes Madeleine Lewis, Senior Advisor at the London-based non-profit Forum for the Future.

The site is now active and both consumers and professionals are urged to “click on each factor to find out more, and share how you thing the industry might change.” There is also a Twitter page: @Tea2030.

Click on a topic to see a brief explanation supported by key facts and figures and a prediction for the future. Excerpts from work group convened by the Forum stimulate thought. Thirty supply chain stakeholders were invited to articulate the obstacles and opportunities confronting tea.

On the topic of emerging business models one participant writes: “Tea is not traded on the futures market. It’s a completely opaque scenario, there’s no idea of price. Hence commodities like tea are unattractive to pension and hedge funds, it immediately turns them off and so they’re not going to invest. If I had a price then I might invest”. (Work Group Interviews)

The group identified 19 principal areas of opportunity and concern, including:

  • Emergence of new business models
  • Climate change impacts
  • Buyers response to tea scarcity
  • Balance of power across supply chain
  • Domestic production in producer countries
  • Competition for land

Each is followed by a comment window.

“It is hoped that many actors in the tea sector will sign up to these principles and then work together to achieve them,” writes Lewis.

Sources: Forum for the Future, Tea 2030