Finlays has an array of products and services which arise from being in agriculture and commerce internationally for over 250 years.
In that time, Tea has been a core business and our technical teams are highly experienced in producing, blending, packaging and selling tea and tea-related products. With laboratory, pilot plant and factory-scale manufacturing facilities in many countries, we offer an unrivalled breadth of resources and experience to our customers.
Our ownership of tea estates in Kenya and Sri Lanka gives us the unique opportunity to begin innovating at the very point the tea starts growing. Having our technical teams working alongside the production staff in our tea estates and factories offers unique opportunities for new product and process development. We aim to deliver quality products to our customers so that the benefits of our knowledge and experience can, in turn, be passed on to our customers’ customers. The ownership of these estates also enables us to provide complete transparency and traceability in terms of the environmental and social conditions under which the tea is grown. In addition, on many of our estates we have achieved a number of accreditations (Fairtrade, and Rainforest Alliance are examples) to supplement our own standards.
Our knowledge in tea has extended to providing decaffeinated teas out of our factory in the UK as well as a huge array of products that are extracted from the tea leaf. Our tea extracts division now has factories in Kenya, China and South America and can claim to be instrumental in the development of tea extracts as well as pursuing the identification and extraction of catechins from camellia leaf – which are now recognised as being an essential ingredient in many of the health drinks on the market today.
Our ownership of estates has also resulted in a depth of experience growing other crops. Our flowers business in Kenya has grown to such an extent that we are now one of the largest producers of roses from Africa to the EU. We also have extensive timber plantings on all of our estates, much of which is used for internal fuel requirements but some of which is also made available for commercial purposes. Our rubber crop in Sri Lanka has proved a valuable resource in recent years and we are continually evaluating new uses for our land base which conform to our beliefs about responsible and sustainable agricultural practices.
Blending and packing tea and coffee is also an important element of our overall offering. We take pride in achieving the highest service standards for our retail partners in the United Kingdom out of our facility in South Elmsall, as well as the broader range of international customers we serve out of our packaging plant in Colombo.
As a consequence of being in the USA, Pakistan and Sri Lanka for many years, we have also extended into significant logistics operations as well as a number of small services businesses. Our experience and our reputation in these countries is strong and we benefit from the broader knowledge and complementary resources of the Swire group to ensure that our customers enjoy the highest standards of service and expertise.