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Friday, March 4

Friday Folly: Twinings Tea Production to Move to Poland and China

In a letter written to Cassandra on Saturday 5th March 1814 from Henrietta Street, amongst gossip about the theatre, mending a petticoat, [her brother] Henry having a cold, going out for walks and meeting people, Jane writes, 
"I am sorry to hear that there has been a rise in tea. I do not mean to pay Twining till later in the day, when we may 0rder a fresh supply." - London Calling, A Cup of Tea With Jane Austen

It is a sad state of affairs when an august and venerable firm such as Twinings decides to pull up shop and outsource its tea production from England to Poland and China by September 2011 as part of "an efficiency drive." Worse, the powers that be have decided in their almighty wisdom (and lack of empathy) that the British employers about to be laid off will have to train their replacements. Nice touch that.

In addition, "the firm applied for £10m worth of EU aid to help it open a new factory just weeks after announcing plans to close down production in North Shields." At the very least, the firm should be stripped of its royal warrant, which apparently isn't going to happen. Rub salt in the wound much?

My thought is this: Jane Austen should never have paid her bill.

(All opinions expressed in this folly piece are Vic's, who is biased.)


Kalee said...

As one who has been drinking Twinings for nearly a decade, even got my husband addicted to it, I'm a little disappointed in this. I loved going into their original store in London while we were living in England, but because I respected their history. This new change doesn't sound like an impressive one.

Kalee said...

And may I mention that they might save more money if they stuck to more popular teas, such as English Breakfast, Earl Grey, Darjeeling, Oolong,etc. Rather than trying to be trendy and make green teas and flavored teas? They're not the biggest company for that, and I am sure that is partly where they are losing profits.

Vic said...

Excellent point, Kalee. I love their Earl Grey tea. It was the only product that I would purchase from them. The gall of asking employees about to be laid off to train their replacements is too arrogant for words.

Anonymous said...

As much as I like Twinings Earl Grey, I'm opposed to their moving to Poland for cheaper labor. So, I'm now drinking Choice Teas Organic Earl Grey, and the quality is even better.

Dana Huff said...

Ah, the Lady Grey is a favorite, but the Chai tea is really good. How disappointing of them!

MarySimonsen said...