Two days of constant face-to-face interaction and intense dialogue at Vinopolis in London with the key players in the global tea supply chain, all present under one roof was a profitable and a valuable learning experience for us. It also gave us the opportunity of meeting many old friends in tea and meeting new ones. The bonding and spirit during the breaks, the pub hour, and culminating with the grand dinner judging by the decibel count at the Cantina speaks volumes as to what was achieved in terms of fellowship. No doubt about chain reactions!
Heritage Group acting as an intermediary in the producer link of the supply chain, newly admitted to the ETP, was able to glean during this short space of time the multiple challenges faced across the wide spectrum of stakeholders who were nearly all represented at the event. This objective was realised through the carefully conceived and well laid out programme for which the credit must justifiably be given to Sarah Roberts and her excellent team.
Judging by the record the executive arm of the ETP has consistently added value to the effectiveness of the ETP in reaching its goals by including and inviting nearly all stakeholders into the discussion. The numbers from the producing countries and high level participation at the retail end of the chain made many of the subjects discussed more complete in relation to the overall issues involved.
The tone and atmosphere was set by professional moderating that brought out the best of views and opinions in a spirit of openness and frank discussion. It cannot be denied that many issues which may not immediately impact on what we do individually, must really concern us all in relation to the sustainability of the industry over the long term. After all, “the strength of the chain is only as good as its weakest link”.