English Tea Shop wins National Business Award for Sustainability


English Tea Shop, the leading independent speciality and organic tea company, has won the Business Award for Sustainability at the National Business Awards, the UK’s most esteemed nationwide business awards.

The award recognises English Tea Shop’s mission to change the perception that sustainability and growth don’t mix. Embedding sustainable development at the very core of the business, English Tea Shop isn’t just focused on sustainability because it’s the right thing to do, but because it is precisely that which helps the business grow rapidly.

Creating Shared Value (CSV) – finding opportunities for growth in sustainable development – is key to English Tea Shop’s fast growth. At the heart of the organisation is its Love, Care, Change initiative that ensures the company has a strong focus on building lasting relationships with the farmers who grow the company’s tea. Not only does English Tea Shop ensure farmers are paid well over the Fairtrade minimum price, they offer a wide range of support, advice and technical know-how.

English Tea Shop also makes all its teas 100% organic, and by doing so, has helped to further drive up the prices farmers can command. English Tea Shop also gave a grant of £57,000 to the organic Sri Lankan small farming associations enabling them to increase the yield and value of their crops, driving value into the local economy.

Through its dedication to CSV, English Tea Shop has directly helped 1,082 organic farming families in 2017. The business has also enhanced the livelihoods of 400 individuals who work in its Sri Lankan based manufacturing facility through an initiative called The Big Game. This encourages the company’s employees to think entrepreneurially by paying them a share of the profits every quarter and getting them involved in programs like open book management. This drives employee engagement and has directly led to a 35% increase in productivity.

Now in its seventh year, English Tea Shop teas and tisanes are already sold in 50 international markets, and the company is aiming to be in 80 by 2021. In the UK, English Tea Shop is sold in high-end department stores such as Selfridges, as well as hotels such as The Grange and Strand Palace. English Tea Shop tea is also white-labelled in major foodservice chains such as Pret a Manger.

English Tea Shop CEO Suranga Herath says: “We’re honoured to have been chosen as the recipient of the award for sustainability.  Despite our tremendous growth, we’re far from finished and have some very exciting plans for the future. It’s also brilliant that sustainability initiatives such as CSV and Love, Care, Change are being recognised. Such initiatives show that a focus on sustainability can be extremely beneficial to the bottom line, not just the world at large.”