Finlays managing director steps down

By Gwen Ridler

- Last updated on GMT

Chambers has ended his 29-year long career with Swires and hi seven year stint as Finlays managing director
Chambers has ended his 29-year long career with Swires and hi seven year stint as Finlays managing director

Related tags Drinks appointments

Finlays managing director Guy Chambers has stepped down from the position after seven years in the role, marking the end of his 29 year-long career with parent company Swire.

Chambers leaves the B2B coffee and tea supplier to start his own business in the beverage sector and explore opportunities from his home base in London.

During his time with the drinks firm, he oversaw the sale of Finlay’s Horticulture, the closure of Finlay’s Pakistan, the privatisation of Finlay’s Colombo, the acquisition of Aspen Beverages in Texas and an investment into cold brew coffee extraction in Hull (see box below).

His career with Swires has seen him hold a number of senior positions across the globe, including chief operations officer for the groups China beverages division and chief operating officer for Damin International Holdings.

Commenting on his departure, Chambers said: “This has been a tough decision to leave to start my own business. There will be new challenges – let’s see where this next road goes.”

Hull cold brew coffee investment

Last October saw Finlays invest millions of pounds in a new extraction plant in Hull to produce cold brew coffee for branded and own-label grocery and foodservice suppliers.

The site is located next to Finlays Europe’s tea decaffeination facility in Hull and allows the company to supply bulk concentrate, ready-to-drink cans and bag-in-box through ambient and refrigerated supply chain networks.

Ian Bryson, managing director at Finlays Europe, said: “Our new extraction facility is about helping beverage brand owners across foodservice, B2B and retail tap into the cold brew opportunity by allowing us to manufacture in a flexible range of formats and being able to develop bespoke solutions.”

Founded in 1750, Finlays has been sourcing tea since 1817 and producing it since the 1870s and is one of the world’s largest beverage businesses.

Global expansion 

Since becoming wholly-owned by the Swire Group in 2000, Finlays has expanded its beverage business through new investments in China (acquiring shares in Damin) and the Americas (acquiring ownership of Autocrat, Casa Fuentes and Aspen Beverage Group), together with continued investments in its existing business in Europe, Africa and Asia. 

Meanwhile, in other appointment news, Halal baby food firm For Aisha has announced a trio of senior hires​ as it targets £10m turnover by 2026.

The new appointments included Joy Parkinson as executive chair, Leighton Paul as financial director and Emelyne Bradley as commercial director.


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