Divesting Tea Gardens Signals Change in Strategy for Lipton



Comments (1)

Comment Feed

A poisoned chalice?

Perhaps Browns will find the acquisition of Finlay's and Lipton's Kenya plantations the ultimate poisoned chalice. These tea lands have been plagued by labor and human rights issues for decades - mechanized harvesting displacement of workers, an outstanding H&S court case against Finlays, sexual abuse issues, and ancestral land ownership claims. Yet Browns are committed by the terms of sale to solve all these problems that the MNCs could not (would not?) solve. And the kicker is that Lipton agrees to buy the huge quality tea that Browns will grow - and doubtless, the small print says - 'but only if Browns do successfully sort out the HR mess that has landed in their lap'.
This passing-the-buck deal certainly seems to be a superb, if unethical, way out for trouble for Finlays and Lipton. As it now makes Sri Lanka based Browns the largest single global producer of tea it most definitely has a hint of being a vanity project - let's hope for the sale of East African tea workers that Browns can successfully unloose the Gordian knot.

Nigel Melican 63 days ago

More News and Features

Listeria Contamination Forces Danone Canada to Recall 15 Silk SKUs | Dairy Reporter

India's Tea Prices Soar as Extreme Weather Slashes Output | Reuters

Nestlé Unveils New Climate Resilient, Lower Carbon Footprint Coffee Variety | ESG Today

This Will Be the Summer of Hard Tea | Food & Wine

How the World Came to Run on Coffee | BBC

More News Tips

The STiR Coffee and Tea Newsletter is sent two times each month with news updates, important information, and upcoming events.