Zealong Tea Estate, New Zealand’s only commercial tea plantation, signed a landmark export agreement with TeeGschwendner, the world’s largest speciality tea retailer this month. Zealong tea will initially be sold in TeeGschwendner’s 123 German stores.
Only an elite fraction of the annual world tea export harvest – 0.5 percent – is considered for purchase by the German company’s master tea tasters, with each tea undergoing rigorous testing before and after purchase for pesticides and heavy metal residues. The agreement will see 10 percent of Zealong’s annual tea production – enough tea to brew two million cups of tea – exported to Germany.
Zealong Tea Estate General Manager Gigi Crawford says: “We are both excited and honoured that our products have been chosen not only to be part of TeeGschwendner’s offering of premium teas, but also part of a unique co-brand cooperation.”
“It’s our no-compromise approach when it comes to the environment that brings added-value to TeeGschwendner.”
In terms of quality and purity, Zealong tea rates highly on the world stage, being 100 percent certified organic and ISO certified across every step of the production process, making it fully traceable – a unique status in the tea industry.
With the demand for organic products increasing worldwide and New Zealand looking to further capitalise on its ‘clean green’ reputation, Zealong Tea Estate, near Hamilton, is being touted as a leader in the food and beverage industry.
Trade Minister Todd McClay, who tweeted about Zealong’s “big export potential” when he visited the estate earlier this year, says the deal is great news not only for Zealong but for New Zealand exporters. “Germany is one of the world’s largest economies and a key trading partner. It is one of our largest export markets for venison and sheep meats but other trading opportunities exist, particularly in food and beverages. New Zealand companies are working actively in Germany in these sectors and it is great to see Zealong’s success.”