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Meet Our Members Series - Suki Tea
Company Name Suki Tea Makers
Contact Person Anne Irwin
Industry Sector Food & Drink
Tell us in two sentences about your company’s products or services.
Suki Tea Makers sources and blends the best tasting and award-winning loose leaf teas, fruit tisanes and herbal infusions from around the world which can be served up in our extensive and quality range of tea accessories both at home and for the foodservice industry. Our teas are ethically sourced carrying Fairtrade, Rainforest Alliance, and Organic certifications and packaged in plastic-free packaging and available to purchase online www.suki-tea.com or through wholesale and distribution world-wide.
What and where are the biggest plastics issues in your value chain?
Our biggest plastics issue was working closely with our packaging supply chain to ensure we were able to convert all our tea contact packaging to plastic-free and home compostable materials without having a detrimental effect to the freshness and quality of our teas. In the transition to plastic-free contact packaging we erred on the side of caution and reduced our shelf life to ensure our customers were 100% happy with the freshness and great taste that they expect. Over 2019/2020 we succeeded in converting most contact tea packaging to plastic free resulting in removing 2.7 tonnes of plastic packaging from going to landfill over a 12-month period.
Why did you decide to join RPM Program?
At Suki Tea Makers, we never settle for less and take great pride in our efforts to operate in a sustainable and responsible manner. We were delighted to join the RPM Program as no business needs to go on this journey to manage plastic responsibly and reduce single-use plastics alone. It has been invaluable to tap into the expertise and network the RPM Program offers, both demonstrating our commitment to responsible plastic management and gaining expert assistance in mapping out and managing this journey to create a more positive impact and ensure that we, as a business, are not part of the problem.
At what stage are you on your plastics journey?
Following the success of our conversion of all our tea contact packaging in varying formats to plastic-free and home compostable, we have performed a plastic audit throughout the business and are working closely with our supply chain on the reduction of plastic packaging associated with our principal accessories in relation to their transit in packaging. Already this year we have achieved success with the removal of a bubble wrap protected sleeve over our branded bamboo tea trays.
Have you set a target or pledge for improved plastic management by 2025/2030?
We can’t stay still after delivering on home-compostable, plastic free packaging for all our teas. There is much work to do and our Environmental Team at Suki are analysing all aspects of our day to day operations and where we can make the greatest positive impact, working closely with suppliers for many years to reduce and/or minimise the use of plastics throughout the business, from accessories packaging to pallet wrap and the ongoing projects to complete the contact packaging picture such as plastic-free labels and pyramid envelope material.
We are also signatories of the Climate Action Pledge with BITCNI and proud to have achieved Top Performing Small Business in the Environmental Benchmarking Survey NI in 2021.