English Tea Shop stirs up £2.5m from HSBC UK to support sustainable growth

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Speciality tea company, English Tea Shop, has strengthened its ambitious growth plan thanks to a £2.5 million financial package from HSBC UK.

English Tea Shop has used the funding to expand its workforce to more than 400 permanent employees worldwide, increasing its presence and services globally. The funding is also being used for a rebrand which has allowed the company to introduce a new packaging design that celebrates the individuality of its blends and commitment to working with local communities to sustainably source organic ingredients.

In addition, English Tea Shop will allocate some of the HSBC UK funding to the development and roll-out of innovative new product ranges, including its loose-leaf tea collection, which is already stocked in Whole Foods Market stores across the UK.

Suranga Herath, CEO of English Tea Shop, said: “Our journey to date is testament to the power of achieving growth by focusing on sustainable initiatives that simultaneously improve business performance. It’s fantastic to see this being recognised by HSBC UK. The bank’s funding has helped us to invest in more resource internationally and paved the way for major strategic milestones, such as the launch of our unique ESOP scheme earlier in the year and our rebrand which signifies a new chapter for English Tea Shop.”

David Skipp, HSBC UK’s area director for Cambridge, Essex and Suffolk Business Banking, said: “English Tea Shop has continued to have a genuine impact on the lives of those working across the supply chain in its industry. In 2017/2018 alone, it directly helped 1,352 organic farming families, and improved the lives of over 3,000 farming families in Sri Lanka and worldwide through an investment of over $186k across numerous initiatives and projects. Combined with the company’s commercial growth, its social impact is what stood out about English Tea Shop and highlighted its potential for even more success in the future. We’re delighted to play a part in enabling the company to continue to benefit communities – and increase our global footprint.”

Since inception in 2010, English Tea Shop has entered over 50 markets. The brand – which celebrates British culture and connects with international audiences – is a pioneer of sustainable practices in the tea industry, developing its own green business model whereby it sources organic teas, herbs, flowers, fruits and spices from small organic farmers in Sri Lanka and 20 other countries.   

The deal was part of HSBC UK’s £14 billion lending fund to support SMEs in the UK.