Top tea suppliers Ronnefeldt and Jafferjee tell us about their plans for the coming year.
As tea begins to hit the same level of consumer awareness as coffee, with consumers caring more about origin and quality than ever before, brands are having to expand their horizons
Jafferjee Brothers is a premium tea and infusion exporter based in Colombo, Sri Lanka. The company was founded in 1944 and exports tea to over 30 countries across the globe. It offers a wide range of solutions for the food service sector through its flagship brands Jaf Tea and Te Reval.
But nowadays ethical considerations play a bigger part in the company’s decision making process. All teas that Jafferjee Brothers make are packed in Sri Lanka to give maximum value to the local communities.
It’s the same at German-based tea specialists J.T. Ronnefeldt KG, where owner Jan Holzapfel tells us they are taking the issue very seriously.
He says: “We are investigating in sustainability because we see the demand of our clients worldwide. Plastic free products become a major issue as the oceans are full with plastic. As one of the first smaller SMEs we created our first sustainability report according to the GRI international standards. Besides, we are member of ETP London, one of the NGOs operating in the worldwide tea business. ETP takes care about the global standards for a fairer, better, more sustainable tea industry for tea workers, farmers and the environment, ensuring a sustainable future for the tea industry.”
There are also issues around climate and political changes affecting the production of tea in Darjeeling which means Ronnefeldt has to ensure it is protecting the means of production, so as not to risk being unable to fulf il the worldwide demand.
It’s a demand which has seen customers looking for a higher standard of tea.
Jafferjee Brothers director Mufaddal Jafferjee tells us that its product range includes “exceptional single origin teas packaged to meet the needs of our discerning clientele. Our brand Te Reval focusses on the luxury food service
segment as each product contains only all natural ingredients. While our Jaf Tea brand offers a very wide range of teas and infusions to cater to the premium segment of the market”.
For Ronnefeldt, the rising demand from “tea connoisseurs worldwide” means having to look further afield. Holzapfel says places like “Colombia, Africa, and New Zealand” are being investigated to ensure top quality can be ensured.
He tells us that at the moment Ronnefeldt has its “TeaStar collection with the utmost quality of lose leaf tea as well as our pre portioned solutions Tea-Caddy, LeafCup and Teavelope support hotels in delivering the highest tea qualities to their customers. Guests appreciate it.”
Hotels are also a key focal point for Jafferjee Brothers and Jafferjee tells us they “have a wide range of products for cafes and hotels. From in-room solutions to fine dining we have a complete range including the brewing accoutrements, engaging menus and attractive tea walls. Our distributors in the GCC can provide the training and support needed to meet our customers’ needs”.
Looking to the future and as demand continues to rise Jafferjee says his company is looking to expand further into North America and Europe. Meanwhile Holzapfel tells us one of the main trends to look out for in 2019 is “customised solutions with individual packaging for hotels” like Ronnefeldt’s Mix & Match concept which allows hotels to create their own branded tea selection.
Ronnefeldt BergkraeuterRiccardo Giraudi