STiR Tea & Coffee Industry International

Volume 7 Number 5

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14 STiR coffee and tea / Issue 5, 2018 (October / November) Q&A Q A By Dan Bolton STiR: Will you share your thoughts on why packaging tea is so important to the sustainability of the tea industry? Pirouz: There are two main aspects in terms of sustainability in my view. One is the sustainability of our tea itself, leading others to meet the following challenges: a) keep the taste of tea consis- tent to enable individual preference in preparation; b) ensure the natural health and wellness characteristics of teas; c) maintain a consistently high level of quality; d) keep the volume of tea used to make each cup consistent; and e) maintain the ease of preparation in a reasonable time. Farhad Pirouz DPH Group Farhad Pirouz grew up with the tea industry. As owner, managing director, and c.e.o. of DPH Group in Cologne, Germany he has established a reputa- tion within the packing industry for meeting every packaging need in tea. DPH is a one-stop company with manufacturing capability for advanced automatic teabag packing machines and, as a supplier of expendables including filter paper, aluminum wire, cotton thread, printed tags and protective envelopes. Farhad joined DPH in 1991 and is responsible for several product divisions including tea. Under his direction the firm offers start-up feasibility studies, factory layout, and technical support as well as financing. Before joining DPH he held managerial positions at Daimler Benz and Continental AG. Tea is mainly old in outdoor markets, roadside stands, and at the farmgate without the benefits of packaging. Pirouz travels frequently to origin where he advocates on behalf of tea communities seeking to maximize efficient and sustainable returns by adding value. Second is to ensure the availability of tea every day in our market place, such as where we, as consumers demand to find and buy our tea. We must make sure that supply meets demand in the years ahead when tea production is predicted to decrease. The answer to both concerns is a single solution: respon- sible packaging. Not only does packaging provide an extremely accurate level of consistency in terms of taste, quality, color, and volume of tea needed and therefore minimizing waste, packaging also addresses health issues with proper dosing in the preparation of a cup of tea. These are all important characteristics for the consumer. Packaging forces brands to control their suppliers in meeting accepted standards. Control- ling volume simultaneously regulates consumption of tea for the perfect cup while reducing waste worldwide. Packaging allows you to control all factors to ensure the sustainability of the tea itself and its availability as a commod- ity. A critical question facing us in the future is how to meet growing global demand by the year 2050 when it is predicted the industry will face a significant decrease in global tea production. In my view packaging will play an extremely important and critical role in meeting this shortfall. DPH Group is working in close partnership with the dominant manufacturers of machines and materials, to provide both the equipment and services to satisfy the need to industri- alize our market by building up the value-added segments of the supply chain within our tea and coffee industry. STiR: Only about 12% of the world's tea volume is packaged in teabags. China for example, consumes far more tea than Russia, but most is consumed as freshly made lose leaf. Using Russia as an example, will you explain how the availability of packed tea is transforming that market. In 2017 about 56% of the total tea consumed in Russia was in teabags, for which it must allocate hard currency in US dollars, which limits other economical budgeted expenditures. Pirouz: China, for the past 13 years, has been the world's largest producer and is once again the largest tea exporter. China's domestic market consumed 2 million metric tons of tea last year, averaging 1.5 kilos per person per year. In China, unlike Russia, the majority is consumed in a loose tea format. Less than 0.8% of tea production is packed in teabags ― about 10,000 metric tons, mostly in double-chamber, single-chamber, and pyramid shaped tea bags. If China were to control tea consumptions by packaging it in tea bags a huge amount of tea would be saved. This tea would be available for export, generating foreign currency as an export commodity and creating even more income. Packaging adds value and increases tonnage available for export. Contrast that to Russia which imports much of its tea packed in teabags. That allows Russia to bring in millions fewer tons of tea and to save on consumption per cup of tea. Instead of dosing loose tea at 3 grams per cup, teabags brew the same volume using 1.5 to 2 grams of tea. A large number of HST and Teepack machines from Germany are used in Russia to achieve this high level of value addition. Others from Italy, like ACMA and IMA also contrib- ute. In the single-chamber packaging market, DPH recently launched the new "SMART LINE" machine which packs up to 130 teabags per minute and includes different top options to the machine without raising the competitive price.

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