Wills and Alpha Company has unveiled a new tea brand, a blend of selected Malawian teas, to meet local demand for tea.
The new tea brand, Williams Tea, is set to be launched tomorrow at Blantyre Sport Club where industry and trade officials are expected to sample the home grown blend.
Of late, the Malawian market has been flooded with cheap imported brands of tea as local supply has dipped on account of low production.
Malawi is the second largest tea producer in Africa after Kenya. However, a meagre three percent of the tea is consumed locally.
Speaking ahead of the launch of the product, Williams Tea managing director, William Sichinga said the new tea brand is a blend of selected black tea that in the past was being exported.
He said: “We are putting grade 1 tea on the Malawi market. This type of tea used to be exported because it is too expensive. We have, however, decided that Malawians deserve high quality tea too; hence, we will be supplying this tea on the local market.”
Sichinga said Williams Tea will reduce imports of tea as the company is poised to scale-up production to ensure that locally produced tea is available on Malawi market all the time.
“Malawi cannot continue to export all the best tea to United States and United Kingdom and import the same tea into the country for consumption at eight times the price we sold it. It is insane.
“We have to add value to our tea and stop these imports. That is why Williams Tea would like to support government efforts in producing the best tea, so that can meet local demand,” said Sichinga.
He said Malawi exports tea at an average of $2 (about K1 200) per kilogramme (kg) yet imports tea at an average of $8 (about K4 800) per kg.
Apart from various health benefits of tea, Sichinga said Williams Tea has special healing properties including cleaning stomach ulcers. n