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NEWS: EUROPEAN SPECIALITY TEA ASSOCIATION

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posted Sunday Jun 21, 2020 10:15 PM

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From 1st July 2020 the name of the European Tea Society is changing to the European
Speciality Tea Association. This change comes following an overwhelming vote by the
association’s members at the Annual General Meeting on 20th May 2020.

The rationale behind this decision is to more accurately reflect the nature and purpose of the
association as follows;

1) The word ‘association’ is an inclusive and contemporary word, one that aligns with the
values of the organisation, which are totally inclusive.
2) The word ‘association’ describes much more accurately what the organisation is,
which is a members association.
3) ‘Speciality Tea’ is very much at the heart of what the organisation does and believes
in. It is enshrined in the association’s Charter and mission and is now appropriately
reflected in the name.

Whilst the logo, branding and house style will remain unchanged to help promote consistency
and continuity, there will be significant changes in many areas of the association.

A new three year strategic plan will continue to foster growth and improvement and support us
becoming an association with the following Identity:

• The European Speciality Tea Association is a modern, efficient, inclusive, ethical,
professional, member facing, committee-driven and volunteer led membership
association
• We work closely in forming, and indeed leading relationships with other tea
associations and organisations
• We focus on promoting excellence and are at the forefront of the continuing quest to
improve standards, quality, knowledge, information interest and enthusiasm for
speciality tea
• We are respected throughout the tea community with strong credibility and reputation
and are an inspiration to others
• Our members continue to make a real difference to the quality of products in our
industry and to the end users in and out of the home; internationally through innovation,
research, education, communication, collaboration, support and knowledge; for all
sectors of members from farmers to consumers
• We represent our members well and with integrity directly and through intermediate
routes e.g. chapters
• We have our strategic focus in Europe, our core market, and are also active, either
independently or in collaboration with others, opportunistically in other areas around
the world commercially and in accordance with our values
• We provide and participate in a range of international events which engage the
speciality tea community and promote tea excellence in our industry
• This is achieved through focussed vision, management and execution, supported by a
strong committee structure including membership, education, research, events and
communications, but also marketing, international development as well as us fully
engaging with our volunteers
• We are happy in our own skin and comfortable with our role within the tea community
whilst being ambitious to achieve new objectives

In order to grow our membership, to make the association stronger, and assist in our mission to promote speciality tea we will be initiating a major membership drive to reach new and
potential members across Europe.

We will be introducing new membership categories, one for producers in tea growing
countries, and one for a new type of person in the tea community, the Tea Barista.
As our membership grows, we will be looking to recruit members in some new and exciting
regions, for instance Russia. And, when we have sufficient members in a given country, open
up a chapter to help those members network and organise events.

Once the world starts to get back to some sort of normality we will resume our strategy of
attending events around Europe in order to promote the association, promote speciality tea,
engage with local tea communities, gain new members and deliver knowledge. We will also be
looking to increase the number of competitions that we organise, this being such a wonderful
tool for improving the quality of tea and bringing communities together.

Education and research are at the very core of the association’s value and mission, and we will
be working extremely hard on our initiatives here, helped and supported by our growing team
of volunteers. We are just in the process of launching an online basic module, Tea 101, in
conjunction with Australian Tea Masters, it is aimed at beginners and is really to help people
who because of current restrictions of movement are not able to partake in more traditional
methods of tea education. This module will be free of charge to European Speciality Tea
Association members.

Our main focus however is on launching our Tea Certification Programme, which will be
delivered through our members who are trainers, or who have schools or academies, and will
cover a number of disciplines at two different levels including Camellia sinensis, brewing skills,
sensory skills, botanicals, tea barista skills, health and agronomy. A standalone Introduction to
Tea will be available after June, and the main programme will be launched as soon as things
are back to normal, most likely in early 2021. New volunteers for the groups creating the
various modules are still welcome.

Supporting our education programme of course will be an equally important research
programme which hopefully will develop our understanding of many aspects of tea, including
claimed health benefits and the importance of full understanding of water. We are based at the
University of Chester and have access to sensory laboratories both for European Speciality Tea
Association research and that of our members. We also hope to be able to collaborate with
various universities around Europe.

So much happening, so much to do! These are exciting times in the tea community, certainly in
speciality tea, and European Speciality Tea Association aims to be at the forefront of the
growth and development of the community. We need those people in tea who share our
values and aspirations to join us, so if that is you, and you are not yet a member, then please
talk to us, we would love you to be part of our movement. If you are already a member, thank
you, please tell your friends and colleagues about us, and encourage them to join.

David Veal
Executive Director
European Speciality Tea Association Board
June 2020

hello@specialityteaeurope.com
specialityteaeurope.com

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