Development of Speciality High-Value Tea in Malawi
Working with a major tea estate and smallholder tea growers association, the MICF grant aims to form partnerships with the goal of accessing Specialty Tea markets through the exports of high value-added tea in bags. The product will be a herb/ flower/ fruit flavoured tea that is packaged in tea bags and specialty boxes then either branded for the wholesale client in the foreign market or exported unbranded to the clients. The herbs, flowers and fruits used for flavouring will be grown by the farmer association.
This will be first attempt by a Tea Company in Malawi to venture into niche markets in Europe and America and follow in the footsteps of other such successful ventures from Rwanda in Central Africa and the first attempt of moving what is essentially a commodity into a much higher value-added product which is less prone to the vagaries of the international tea market. The project will also work closely with the smallholder tea farmers and provide them with technical backstopping to help them supply the project with the herbs/fruits/flowers and the high-quality green leaf. Though the project is targeted at working with over 200 farmers, overall, it is expected to bringing in a systematic change in the tea industry in Malawi, creating value-added products, and earning premium prices.