The new gold: Lost Malawi to hit the shelves of Waitrose
Sunday 02 August 2009
Tea as your grandparents would have drunk it is on its way to the UK for the first time in over a hundred years. Lost Malawi, a hand-crafted pure black tea, will be on the shelves at Waitrose in November, exported from the first African single-estate tea grower. Henrietta Lovell, a former corporate finance expert, runs the Rare Tea Company which imports the tea from Malawi.
But Lost Malawi doesn't come cheap, at £6.50 for 50g – about three times the normal cost – as Ms Lovell wants to pay the farmers a fair price. She is already selling other teas to Selfridges, but this one is special, looked after like a rare grape. She says: "I'm taking most of the cost so I can pay a fair price to the Malawian farmers and they can invest in the farm, their education and stay independent from the big agro-farmers. The big tea buyers usually pay about 90 cents a kilogram for their blended teas, but we will be paying them about six times the price they normally get."
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