Taylors Supplier of the Year Award
Roughly a 4 minute read
Every year, we celebrate with the best of our suppliers by presenting them with our Supplier of the Year Award. Winners are those who have excelled at producing high quality, driving improvements or going above and beyond for their communities and the environment.
The honour is well respected among all of our suppliers, and in the past we’ve invited winners to come and spend some time with us in Harrogate, where we can present them with their award in person.
This year’s winners are very special, because they have both shown exceptional dedication and passion through projects that support their communities- from rebuilding school rooms to supporting female empowerment.
First, to our tea supplier of the year, Sorwathe Tea Estate in Rwanda. Sorwathe’s commitment to quality has always been outstanding and their tea makes up part of our classic Yorkshire Tea blend. On top of this, they’ve been working on inspiring projects that benefit the livelihoods of young women and children in their communities.
Sorwathe was actually the first private tea factory to exist in Rwanda, with the construction of the factory starting back in 1975 and production of tea started by 1978. There are about 2,200 workers in the fields and 4,500 farmers in the co-op in total. They now produce around 12% of Rwanda’s tea, and it makes an excellent brew!
This year they have dedicated their time to two amazing projects. The first, is the Porridge project.
This is a collaboration with Taylors and operates in a Rwandan school, bringing 900 cups of porridge a day to the children there. The benefits of a proper breakfast are huge. A cup of porridge a day helps the children with nourishment and health as well as good concentration throughout the morning in their classes.
The second project is designed to support young women with their periods. We may complain about sanitary products over here being expensive, but in Rwanda many young women struggle to access sanitary care, making this tricky time even harder to navigate. In collaboration with Taylors, Sorwathe supplies reusable sanitary pad kits to students from their local secondary school, sewn by local women trained as part of the project. This initiative recently went on to win a project award at the North American Tea Conference.
“We are honoured to be selected as Taylor’s tea “Supplier of the Year 2019.” We share Taylors’ commitment to a sustainable and ethical supply chain, to trading fairly and to high standards of quality. Our relationship has grown from a tea supplier to one in which we work together to improve the lives of the greater community through programs for nutrition, women’s health, sports, and entrepreneurs”
We love how dedicated our suppliers are to quality and importantly, making a difference to the lives of those in their communities. As part of Taylors Sourcing Approach we hold long term relationships with our suppliers, which include working with them on long term contracts so we can plan for the future together. Our coffee supplier of the year is certainly familiar with working with us over a long period of time. In fact, we’ve been buying Kenyan coffee from them for over 20 years, and Rwandan coffee for four years. They’re dedicated to quality and sustainability, and are helping us gain transparency in our supply chain. They are C Dorman Rwanda.
C Dorman, just like Sorwathe, have also put some amazing collaborative projects in place over the last year to support the communities growing the coffee we buy. The first project focuses on upgrading a Nursery and Primary School used by many of their farmers’ children. The aim is to renovate seven class rooms of Ruheru Shcool and completely renovate the nursery, along with providing 200 new school desks.
We have also partnered with C Dorman on a project called ‘one cow per family’, which aims to improve the livelihoods of smallholder coffee growing families by providing one cow to each farming family. The cow supplies milk for the family, along with manure for improved soil fertility to help improve their coffee production.
Alongside C Dorman’s dedication to supporting their communities, they are also committed to ensuring they uphold the very highest level of quality for the great tasting Rwandan coffees we buy. Without C Dorman and our other fantastic suppliers you wouldn’t be enjoying a cup of Lazy Sunday or Rich Italian. At the same time, working with such proactive partners on the ground ensures we can support our coffee growing communities through initiatives that really matter to them, and ensure they are able to continue growing delicious tasting coffees for many years to come.
“We are very delighted to get such recognition and we are so thankful for the support. We will continuously endeavour to find high quality coffee that meets your requirements and we appreciate the various activities Taylors have supported with in this region to improve productivity and living standards.”
Last updated 19th December 2019