Yorkshire, a UK-based company is seeking a contract with the Rwandan Tea Authority (Ocir-Thé) to sell Rwandan tea abroad, the Business Times has learnt.
This comes with the government’s campaign to privatise all its tea factories, plantations in order to increase their competitiveness, productivity and tea revenues.
In a phone interview with the Business Times, the Director General of Ocir-Thé, Anthony Butera said that Yorkshire and Ocir-Thé are in negotiations for a forward contract, were the UK based company is seeking to be buying tea in bulk and exporting it abroad.
“We had a meeting last month with Yorkshire representatives and now we are dealing with the paperwork; but we are yet to agree on the terms of the deal,” Butera said.
Butera also added that Rwandan tea companies and investors are expected to get market for their tea and also get a better premium in return which will also improve the lives of tea farmers.
Yorkshire has been present in the country for over 30 years, creating a premium market for high quality, sustainably-grown tea and committing to purchase a significant volume from farmers in Rwanda.
They have also been supporting local tea communities, providing good living and working conditions for farmers and their workers.
Butera said that the company (Yorkshire) has been packaging Rwanda tea as a way of advertising and promoting it in the Yorkshire Gold packages, also branding Rwandan tea on them.
Government intends to increase the sector’s processing capacity while retaining the high quality of Rwanda’s tea on the international market.
Last year, Ocir-Thé fetched $28.3 million (Rwf16.6 billion) through tea exports from five government owned firms. The total production last year fell to 20,000 tonnes of tea from an estimated of 24,000 tonnes.