Adventures of a Tea Trainer by Lucy Chappell

Adventures of a Tea Trainer by Lucy Chappell

Tea is beloved by billions of people all over the world. It is the most drank beverage second only to water! But we do not eat it, we do not need it to survive. So why is it so important?

Tea is not only extremely important  socially but also economically. Tea is one of the largest industries in the world, it is grown in 35 countries, employs millions of people in some of the world’s poorest regions and provides vital export earnings for developing economies.

Yet this is all under threat through climate change, shifts in consumer demand, mechanisation of plantations and labour strains as the younger generations move away to the city seeking higher wages. These factors and more are all putting huge pressure on the industry.

However, the industry continues to grow. Tea consumption jumped 60% between 1993 and 2010 and it keeps on growing. Three billion cups are now drank around the world daily.  Just let that sink in - km that is three billion compared with only two billion of coffee.

Already we are seeing an impact on land as demand for quicker growing crops increases. Indonesia converted around 13,000 hectares from tea to palm oil, rubber and fruit between 2005 and 2010. Whilst Kenya is seeing pressure on the demand for land due to urbanisation. There is also mounting pressure from environmental groups to stop the devastation of forests and tea could be an easier target to get rid of than more profitable crops such as palm.

How can this be sustainable? Where will the extra cups come from to meet the higher demand? What can we do as consumers and business owners to help make tea a crop for the future?

Join me at European Coffee, Tea & Soft Drinks Expo to discuss and find out more. I will discuss how we can change the face of tea to make it a luxury beverage within the UK and around the world, but also how we can use tea to help the climate and all those that depend on tea as their living.

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