News

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...

Sustainability of Assam’s Tea Industry Questioned

Stagnant prices lead industry captains to question the long-term sustainability of the tea industry in Assam. Speaking at the general meeting of the Assam Tea Planters’ Association (ATPA), the oldest body of ethnic tea planters in the Brahmaputra Valley, India Tea Board Chairman Prabhat Kamal Bezboruah last month cautioned that if the price of...

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...

San Francisco Straw Ban Prompts Boba Crisis

2018 is shaping up to be the Year of the Plastic Straw Ban: Seattle 2018, Santa Barbara 2019, Disney 2019, San Francisco 2020, Starbucks 2020, Taiwan 2030, plus Now and Soon and Sometime American Airlines, Hyatt, McDonalds UK, IKEA and many other large multinationals. The ban is both an opportunity for cartoons and jokes,...

4 International Teas to Watch in U.S. Beverage Market

ROCKVILLE, Maryland—The genie is out of the (ready-to-drink) bottle when it comes to a growing number of U.S. consumers willing to try beverages from all over the world. A slowdown in immigration might reduce the speed with which the trend takes place, but in the long run, the U.S. will remain a nation of...

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...

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...

Deadlines for Two Global Tea Championships Are Approaching

Two Global Tea Championship competitions and their entry deadlines are right around the corner. The Iced Tea Commercial Competition will take place Aug. 16 in Montbello, California, and the Spring Hot (Loose Leaf) Competition will take place Sept. 29-30 in Boulder, Colorado. The Global Tea Championship is an independent tea competition open to teas...