Author Archives: Dan Bolton

DAVIDsTEA Investment Partners Sue to Remove Executive Chairman

Shares of DAVIDsTEA fell to a 12-month low of $2.30 last week following a proxy fight, board resignations and a shareholder’s lawsuit seeking to remove co-founder Herschel Segal as executive chair. The company operates 240 tea shops in the U.S. and Canada. Shares were $30 when the company went public in 2015 and were...

West Bengal Tea Planters Appeal to Workers to Accept Wage Compromise

WEST BENGAL, India A three-day strike last week by more than 400,000 tea workers from Darjeeling to the Dooars and Terai tea growing regions halted production at hundreds of tea gardens leading to a loss in volume and quality according to planters. The region is “in no position to bear any further disruptions,” according...

Kenya Court Halts Unilever Voluntary Retirement Program

Kenya is experiencing a tense transition as owners of colonial-era tea plantations abandon tightly held vertical supply chains in favor of less expensive and more agile options for sourcing and processing tea. Unilever’s Kericho tea operations, which date to 1924, include 20 estates spanning 21,500 acres (8,700 hectares) and eight factories that produce 32...

What Defines Specialty Tea?

Pioneer specialty coffee trader Erna Knutsen, who passed away this summer at 96, was among the first green coffee buyers to champion the skills of coffee growers and to recognize the taste benefits of quality processing techniques. In her catalog of offerings Knutsen described characteristics inherent in terroir and priced them into transactions. She...

Follow the Leaders: Defining Specialty Tea

How Do you Define What’s Special about Specialty Tea? Pioneer specialty coffee trader Erna Knutsen, who passed away this summer at 96, was among the first green coffee buyers to champion the skills of coffee growers and to recognize the taste benefits of quality processing techniques. In her catalog of offerings Knutsen described characteristics...

Charleston Tea Plantation Co-founder Dies

In 1987 when Thomas J. Lipton Co., decided to divest its only U.S. tea farm on Wadmalaw Island, South Carolina, horticulturalist Mack James Fleming and tea broker Bill Hall purchased the property, saving for posterity the Charleston Tea Plantation and the American Classic tea brand. Fleming, 75, died last week at his home in...

Global RTD Tea Expanding Rapidly

Market researchers continue to optimistically project exceptional growth in the ready-to-drink tea category globally and in the U.S. Global sales will top 116 billion in the next five years according to Grand View Research, which released its latest Tea and Coffee Market Size, Share & Trends update. “The instant energy provided by these products...

Follow the Leaders: Transparency

Unilever recently became the first multinational food company to reveal in detail its entire supply chain of 300 direct palm oil growers supplying 1,400 mills. In announcing the decision Unilever’s CEO Paul Polman said, “Unilever is committed to greater transparency. A lot of people think if you outsource your value chain you can outsource...