My name is Niroshan and I am the procurement manager at English Tea Shop. I have worked at English Tea Shop for 10 years, since 2009. During this time, I have helped to develop our relationship with suppliers, ensuring that our mission for the procurement of environmentally friendly materials is transparent to everyone in the production chain.
To make the important transition to become eco-friendly, it was important to limit the use of plastic in the packaging process. One of the ways of doing this was by removing the layers of plastic in our packaging. We introduced board partitions, a greener alternative to separate the different blends in gift assortments.
Whilst moving to a more ecological production process, we continue to use our nylon pyramid tea bags as recent research shows that the use of GMO materials creates other, potentially more serious issues. We have decided, therefore, to choose a GM free alternative that isn’t bio-degradable but is recyclable. It is our view that this is much better option in the short term, avoiding the long-term agricultural and environmental impact that intensive GMO farming has on the land.
It has been a challenging transition as people are reluctant to make changes to traditional processes. Some did not understand the importance of this movement, so it was important to brief suppliers on the benefits of this change. It’s so rewarding working with hundreds of small-scale suppliers to bring our greener movement to fruition.
In the future, we plan to discuss the possibility of implementing a practical recycling process throughout the production chain that will benefit the suppliers, distributors and consumers. Nevertheless, we have already been able to reduce the use of plastics significantly across the manufacturing process. I believe that by continuing to make changes to the production process, the planet will remain green for the future generations.
While keeping myself busy at the back end of the business, I am also a big fan of the English Tea Shop blends, my favourite being the “Jasmine Green Tea”. Its beautiful flowery fragrance and golden cup colour makes it a sparkling cup while the notes of elderflower smoothens the tea. I believe it keeps me energised while I work!