Northern Ireland tea makers, Suki Tea have announced their £500,000 investment into a new headquarters office and factory site in Lisburn.
The new 7500 square foot Tea Factory has been purpose built, is 100% powered by solar and renewable energy, and will help Suki to double the business’ manufacturing and warehousing capacity, increasing production by 600% in the next decade.
The new purpose-built ‘Tea Factory’ has allowed the company to immediately double its manufacturing and warehousing capacity, bolstering distribution and allowing for continued growth and expansion into 30 countries worldwide.
Turning 18 years old this year, Suki Tea now has a dream, state of the art factory to help the team continue delivering excellence for its wide customer base. The new factory provides the perfect creative space for innovation in blending and recipe creation, and a dedicated tea-rista training room for all customers.
The new factory move will also assist Suki in its goals for net zero carbon, leading the way for a cleaner future for its business. In line with Suki Tea’s mission to be an ethical and sustainable organisation, the new factory has allowed the business to reduce its Scope 2 emissions down to zero, superseding its environmental target to reduce the business’ emissions by 50% by 2030.
The new facility, which was built in collaboration with a team of sustainability and heating experts from Invest Northern Ireland, is powered by 100% renewable energy sources including a 10kW Solar PV system. LED sensor lighting and PIR controls are installed throughout, along with large windows for maximised used of daylight and recycling of key waste streams.
Speaking on the importance of building a new environmentally conscious facility, SUKI TEA co-founder, Annie Irwin commented: “As a long-term supporter of Fairtrade and a committed Real Living Wage Employer, it’s really important to us as a business that we operate day-to-day in as ethical and sustainable a way as possible. Over the years, this has included championing several business initiatives and strategy creation, taking the Climate Action Pledge laid out by Business In The Community NI, and being named ‘Top Performing Small Business’ at the 2021 Environmental Benchmarking Awards.
In 2019, we set ourselves a number of environmental targets and we’re thrilled to say that moving to our new Tea Factory this spring has brought us another step closer to achieving these by eliminating our Scope 2 emissions 7 years ahead of schedule. The new move is an important step in our commitment to sustainability and the environment, and we are proud to be leading the way in the tea industry.”
Suki Tea, which was formed from friendship between founders, Annie and Oscar in 2005 in Belfast, has grown to be a leading loose leaf tea brand supplying thousands of hotels, cafes and delis across the UK, Ireland and further afield. With the new factory opening, the business expects to increase its production capacity by over 600% over the next decade, creating employment in many areas of the business for the continued market expansion.
As part of the investment, and in line with the business’ own development, SUKI TEA has also offered employees additional specialised training and development opportunities.
Commenting on the future of the business, co-founder Oscar Woolley says: “As we celebrate our 18th year in business, this new premises is a fantastic opportunity for Suki to continue to grow. Moving from three business units to one purpose-built factory allows us to make our production processes and logistics more efficient, expand our product offering and create new jobs.
Our mission has always been to create a community of loose-leaf tea drinkers across the globe, and we’re pleased that with continued investment into our facilities, our equipment and our team, we can remain at the forefront of the loose-leaf tea industry in the UK, Ireland and around the world.
A special thanks must also go to all our customers and partners whose loyalty and support has brought us to this momentous step in our journey. What started as an idea between friends has grown beyond our wildest dreams – and we’re raising a cup to everyone who has got us here!”