Following the coffee post I had to do tea next!
I am currently drinking co-op own brand, fair-trade, decaffeinated tea. It is actually good and very strong for a decaff.
They often don’t tell you the makers of the tea you are drinking in a cafe. I can only think of Brodies1867 which we covered above and Suki1 .
Suki tea was started on a stall in Belfast and is still based in Northern Ireland. Its infusions are the best I have ever tasted, especially the red berry; as you can actually see the dried red berries in it. It sells all sorts of loose teas and has its own design of teapots with a built in infuser and a metal lid. It recently started an experimental tea growing project at Portaferry, County Down. It doesn’t appear to be a multinational.
Another non multinational tea is Yorkshire Tea2, which is owned by Bettys and Taylors of Harrogate which was discussed in the Coffee post.
There seems to be an ethical, wholesale tea blenders in Plymouth which I could get tea from called All about tea3.
The only other non multinational tea companies I can find, although there are bound to be others, are Ringtons4 and The Edinburgh Tea and Coffee Company 5, which were also discussed in the Coffee post.
Twinings6&7 has taken over both Jackson’s of Piccadilly and Nambarrie but is itself owned by Associated British Foods8 which own Primark, Mazola, Ovaltine, Rivita and Jordans and as discussed in the cheap shop post, because Primark is in Europe and the US, is therefore a multinational.
Tetley9&10 is an English company which has been wholly owned by Tata Global Beverages since 2000. Tata, whose name has been in the papers recently for closing its Steel works, is a huge Indian conglomerate. Tetley is the biggest seller of tea in the UK and Canada and the 2nd biggest in the USA.
PG tips,11 Brooke Bond Tea12, Lipton’s and Scottish Blend13&143 are all owned by Unilever! Boo Hiss, we don’t like Unilever. Fortunately I was never a drinker of PG Tips but I did like its chip adverts as a youngster and I have never really been a fan of the other teas either.
Previous to this experiment I drank Typhoo15&16 decaff. Tyhpoo is now owned by the Apeejay Surrendra Group, who also own The Park Hotel Group in India. Obviously, they too are a multinational.
Whittards17&18 has tea and coffee retail shops on many UK high streets but is actually owned by a private equity firm called EPIC19, which has offices in London, Hong Kong, India and Guernsey. By the more expansive definition of a MNC it qualifies and Whittards, by association, does too.