Yorkshire Tea has overtaken Tetley as the UK’s second favourite tea, leapfrogging its ‘local’ competition in the space of a decade.
In the latest industry figures, released yesterday (5 September), Yorkshire Tea was confirmed as the nation’s second favourite, with just under 23 per cent of the traditional “black tea” market.
It is also an achievement which can be celebrated in East Africa as the Kenya Tea Development Agency (KTDA) is the company’s biggest tea supplier.
As well as sourcing tea from the country, over the last four years the Yorkshire based company have also been partnering with the KTDA Foundation to support their scholarship programme, which was set up to help ensure that children from tea growing communities have the opportunity to continue with their education.
Some of the students they began working with are now about to graduate from high school.
According to the KTDA Foundation, education has proven to be by far the best tool to help improve the livelihoods of the communities in which they work. Their determination and ambition are clear to see.
With free secondary education not provided to all in Kenya, only around 60% of children aged 13 and above are able to continue their education.
During a recent visit to Kenya, Becky from Yorkshire Tea’s sourcing team met some of the students supported by the Foundation.
Among them were Calvin Munene, whose parents farm tea in Kathangariri close to Mount Kenya.
“I had no way of getting school fees, it’s expensive and I am the youngest in a big family” he said. “I remember very well the day I was awarded the scholarship. It was a great help to my parents. It relieved their stress when I was able to go to school.”
Calvin wants to become an engineer, and is waiting for his form 4 results to find out whether he’ll be able to go to university.
Yorkshire Tea is still produced in Harrogate by the family firm that founded it 40 years ago. This is in stark contrast to Tetley, whose stereotypical Yorkshire cartoon characters disguise the brand’s Indian ownership which is part of the same conglomerate as Tata Steel.