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Dorset company Clipper Teas gains £1 million investment boost

By Western Daily Press  |  Posted: September 18, 2012

  • Tea taster Fran Taylor with Patrick Cairns, CEO of Wessanen UK, centre, and Mark Bagwell, Clipper Teas’ operations director at the company’s Beaminster factory

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Tea leaves are forecasting an even rosier future for Dorset-based Clipper Teas with the announcement today of more than £1 million investment in the growing firm.

Dutch-listed parent company Wessanen, with additional support from West Dorset District Council, have financed the investment.

Clipper Teas was founded in 1984 by Mike and Lorraine Brehme and acquired last March by Wessanen, also an organic and natural foods company. It says the funds will allow a major upgrade of the Clipper Teas manufacturing site in Beaminster and support expansion as the brand goes from strength to strength. The investment will also help bring improvements to efficiency, capacity and facilities for staff.

It is already the leading UK organic and natural tea brand, drunk in 1.6 million households. In the last 12 months it had added more than 150,000 new households

West Dorset District Council is pumping in £100,000 in recognition of its importance to the local economy.

The investment demonstrates the strong partnership between Clipper Teas and the council and commitment to the brand’s influential UK heritage as it looks to expand.

Patrick Cairns, CEO of Wessanen UK, said: “This plan is critical for Clipper Teas to continue to be competitive and sustain double digit growth in the UK, as well as realising its ambitions for the brand internationally.

“This significant investment marks our huge commitment in, and ambition for, Clipper Teas – and is great endorsement of the team in Beaminster.”

Ian Doyle, economic regeneration manager at West Dorset District Council, said: “Clipper Tea is a wonderful asset for our local economy and it is crucial that the company remains at the heart of West Dorset.

“The funding will also have a really positive knock-on effect to other West Dorset businesses who rely on trade with Clipper Tea. The money comes from a pot of Section 106 (planning agreement) funds, set aside from a previous housing development in Beaminster and could only be spent in the Beaminster area.

“All the investment will help to upgrade the site, improve efficiency, capacity and facilities for staff as well as really benefit the wider economy of West Dorset.

“We are delighted that Wessanen has made the decision to invest in Beaminster and that we are joining the company in contributing to this.”

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