Typhoo Tea enlists experts to focus on ethics

By Rod Addy

- Last updated on GMT

Ortiz has worked on community socio-economic development and wellbeing in Africa and India
Ortiz has worked on community socio-economic development and wellbeing in Africa and India

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Typhoo Tea has appointed Rocio Ortiz as responsible sourcing manager and enlisted the services of Lesley Western as corporate social responsibility consultant as it builds on its ethical agenda.

The move follows a business restructure earlier this year​ which involved London-based private equity firm Zetland Capital becoming a majority shareholder and investment firm Abercross expand its shareholding.

“With the support of our shareholders, we have a renewed focus on growing Typhoo Tea and its brands, but it’s important to us that we do so in a responsible manner,"​ said Des Kingsley, chief executive officer of Typhoo Tea. “The new team brings an incredible wealth of experience in brand building and responsible sourcing strategy, and have hit the ground running as we continue to rebuild one of the nation’s favourite tea brands.

Sustainable livelihoods

“Rocío brings a critical understanding of the social impact businesses can have on communities, having spent five years working on community socio-economic development and wellbeing in Africa and India. Her work with the Spanish Red Cross focused on developing sustainable livelihoods for rural communities and women farmers, bringing first-hand insight on why it is important that businesses behave responsibly. 

“Lesley’s understanding of the retail sector has already been a powerful asset for us. Her work for both brands and our retail partners, including Tesco and Asda, will provide important insight for us as we reassert our brands across all channels.

“As we continue to build a bright future for Typhoo, these roles underpin our commitment to deliver our roadmap that we believe will provide best in class responsibly sourced tea and better lives for our tea garden workers.”

The plan for Zetland Capital to secure a majority shareholding in Typhoo from Apeejay Surrendra Group was announced in July this year an had been worked on for several months. In an exclusive interview with Food Manufacture in 2017, former Typhoo chief executive Somnath Saha said the plummeting value of the pound after Brexit was announced had hit profits heavily, making importing tea more expensive​.

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