Daniel Graham, MD, Birchall Tea:
Birchall is a family run independent tea company. We have offices in Mombasa, Kenya where we have a 62,000 square foot factory and from where we will export approximately 50 million kilos of tea to 30 countries worldwide this year. Our head office is in London and then here in Wiltshire we have our brand new solar powered tea packing factory.
I’m the 5th generation of my family to go into the tea trade, it’s always been a passion of mine.
I don’t know where Britain would be without a cup of tea.
We’ve been banking with Barclays since 1974, they really understand our business, they know what we’re trying to achieve and they go out of their way to help us achieve our goals.
We’re very proud to have achieved carbon neutral status for the company and all its products earlier this year. We where issued the gold standard and we were the first tea company to sign up to the UN Climate Change Now initiative. We’re also removing plastic from all of our products.
This factory here in Amesbury is completely run on solar power, we have about 450 solar panels on the roof which produce twice the amount of energy that we need.
We went to Barclays for financial support to help us part fund the factory. They were outstanding in reacting quickly. We needed quick decisions otherwise we would have had to run the possibility of losing out on the option to buy the land and build the factory.
Andy Rivers, Relationship Director, Barclays:
When Dan and the team at Birchall came to us at Barclays and asked us to help fund their new sustainable tea factory, we knew it was an opportunity that we wanted to support the business with.
The move to this factory for Birchall gives them unparalleled benefits from a commercial standpoint, that they’re set up both now and for future growth.
It’s very important for us to have a partner that is committed to sustainability and Barclays certainly are, they are definitely committed.
Sustainability’s at the heart of everything that Barclays is doing and trying to achieve moving forward. We have a whole host of green products that enable us to help support businesses like Birchall who have an ethos and a grounding in sustainability and the environment, and we recognise that for businesses like Birchall, there’s common ground because it’s the same for them. And to be a trusted partner for them for another 45 years, we need to ensure that our goals, our ethos and values are shared.
The future for Barclays and Birchall together is really positive. The business has spent a number of years positioning itself for growth with the investments its been making, not only the development of this wonderful sustainable tea factory, and there’s now many new exciting projects that Dan has got his eyes on moving forward that we would love to help him with.
I see us continuing to work with Barclays in the future, we have a great working relationship, I enjoy working with them, they understand us. We don’t have to explain everything every time and we will continue to work with Barclays to achieve our goals.