Let me start off by saying I am in utter shock. Never did I ever think tea was the second most consumed beverage in the world. Yes, tea, and second only to water. I like my hot cup of coffee to start off my day, or even while I’m burning the midnight oil. But it seems everyone else prefers tea. Tea has been around from 737 BC and it was first introduced in China by the emperor and herbalist Shennong. Initially, it was as a medicinal product, but it was eventually transformed to its now famed household use.
In the 17th century, tea spread from China to other regions of the world. In places like the UK, it was held in high regard –it still is. Over time, various types of teas have been grown and produced; from ‘pick me up’ teas such as black and green caffeinated tea, to soothing and calming teas such as decaffeinated herbal tea.
According to research carried out from 1993 to 2013 by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, Kenya is the third highest producer of tea. In 2017 alone, we produced 32 million Kilograms of tea. This is a staggering figure when you consider that unlike the other countries who have large plantations dedicated to tea farming, 90 % of Kenya’s tea is produced by small-scale farmers with less than one acre o a dedicated plantation. While we may not appreciate our own produce with our focus laid more on alcoholic drinks and coffee, the rest of the world definitely appreciates our tea.
Recently, Kericho Gold, one of Kenya’s leading tea producers was invited to represent Kenya at the annual show held in Japan, ‘Foodex Japan 2018.’ The showcase is happening from the 6th to 9th of March and it is expected to attract an upwards of 70,000 professionals and enthusiasts in the food and beverage industry from around the globe.
Fahim Ahmed –the company’s managing director, while speaking on the same matter said “Kericho Gold has consistently stirred the imagination of consumers with its range of exquisite, functional, funky even sophisticated teas touching every target market in Kenya, finally grabbing the attention of key stakeholders in the international food and beverage arena.”
“We take the Japanese market very seriously. There is great potential for high-quality teas in Japan, particularly for pyramid bags with leaf teas, and we need to show what Kenya has to offer to the Japanese consumer.” Mr. Ahmed further said after Kericho Gold received a special invitation to attend the eminent event.
Partnering with the Japan External Trade Organization, Kericho Gold will be the first regional tea company to participate in the expo. The brand says it’s more than prepared to showcase what it has to offer, and it is expected they’ll show the mixed and ingenious Kenyan brand of teas including black and green teas which are packaged in its Mombasa based factory. Kericho Gold is a subsidiary of Global Tea & Commodities which in 2016 overtook production giants Unilever. They purchased well over 16% of the gross continents tea production.
While we may not appreciate local brands, it seems the outside market is more than capable of recognizing and appreciating them. In 2017, Kericho Gold was also invited to the Hospitality Qatar 2017 Expo.