Manik Jayakumar, founder of QTrade Teas & Herbs, will receive The John Harney Lifetime Achievement Award at World Tea Expo, to be held June 11-13 (with a pre-conference program on June 10) at the Las Vegas Convention Center in Las Vegas, Nev. QTrade Teas & Herbs provides end-to-end solutions to the North American specialty tea industry, servicing promising start-ups and some of the world's largest beverage brands. World Tea Expo is the leading tradeshow focused on advancing the business of tea.
As the 2019 John Harney Lifetime Achievement Award recipient, Jayakumar will be recognized for his significant support of the tea industry's growth, innovation and education. He'll receive the honor during the World Tea Awards (#TeaAwards) program at World Tea Expo from 6 to 8:30 p.m. on Tuesday, June 11.
Jayakumar is a tea professional with more than 55 years of experience in every segment of the industry, including growing and managing tea plantations, blending and packaging tea, and trading tea globally. He's a pioneer and expert on organic cultivation and specialty teas, and he also designed and implemented large-scale social development initiatives in the plantation sector and championed the inclusion of these efforts in the marketing of tea in North America.
Samantha Hammer, the World Tea Expo event director and World Tea brand leader, said, "We're thrilled to honor and recognize Manik Jayakumar with this year's John Harney Lifetime Achievement Award. Manik is a shining example of success in the tea and business communities, and we congratulate him on his achievements and decades of work to improve and promote specialty tea in the marketplace."
Jayakumar said, "I am very appreciative of the great honor that receiving The John Harney Lifetime Achievement Award signifies. This most unexpected recognition of the small part I have played while working in the industry that I love is beyond anything I have ever sought. To be included now in the august group of recipients of this award is very humbling. I am thankful for the specialty tea community that has nurtured us for the past 25 years, and I am lucky to be surrounded by dedicated colleagues at QTrade, and long standing clients and vendors, whose passion and commitment has made this industry a pleasure to work in."
Jayakumar's Los Angeles-based company, QTrade Teas & Herbs, is a 70,000 square foot state-of-the-art GFSI facility that provides formulation, supply chain and manufacturing services to the hot, iced and bottled tea segments. In particular, QTrade is one of the region's largest suppliers of organic teas, loose leaf blends, and pyramid sachets. Over the years, the company's product development efforts have won numerous awards at international competitions, including the most awards of any single company at the Global Tea Championships with more than 110 awards. This year is the company's 25th anniversary.
Dan Bolton, publisher of Tea Journey Magazine, offered insights on Jayakumar being honored: "Courage manifests in many ways. In sports, as the good-humored captain of a rough-and-tumble tea plantation rugby team. In battle, leading troops in a tragic civil war. In business, as an early and enthusiastic adopter of organic cultivation. In fleeing, as a father forced to abandon his homeland to protect his wife and family. Manik Jayakumar is a courageous man for all the reasons above, and one more. Starting from scratch in a foreign land he achieved success as founder of one of North America's largest organic and specialty tea companies. QTrade Teas & Herbs is a quality blender that innovates and inspires because its founder will accept nothing less."
The John Harney Lifetime Achievement Award was formerly called The Cha Jing Lifetime Achievement Award and then re-named in 2015 to recognize the legacy of Harney & Sons' Founder John Harney, who passed away in 2014. Harney was one of tea industry's most respected professionals --- and a previous Cha Jing Lifetime Achievement Award recipient --- who helped demonstrate the commercial appeal of sophisticated specialty blends. During his lifetime, Harney earned the respect of traditional and specialty tea vendors worldwide as both a business executive and master blender. The award, in remembrance of Harney, is a community celebration in honor of tea pioneers who helped fuel the market and shape the tea industry of today.
In addition to the World Tea Awards, World Tea Expo 2019 will present more than 50 educational sessions and numerous networking opportunities. The event will gather more than 3,000 international professionals from various industries, including grocery and retail, coffee and tea houses, restaurants and foodservice, hotels, manufacturers, distributors and more. Attendees will gain insights about tea and new ways their business can profit from it, in addition to discovering the latest trends and products.
World Tea Expo 2019 sponsors include: International Tea Importers
, Brew Dr. Kombucha
, ITO EN
, Dethlefsen & Balk
, DMH Ingredients
, East Indies Coffee and Tea
, Rooibos Ltd.
, Flavor Waves
, Harney & Sons
, Martin Bauer Group
, and The Tea Spot