Kenya is the largest global producer of tea accounting to 8 percent (equivalent to 399,210 tonnes of tea) of the global production, according to a 2018 report by Euromonitor International. The same report puts the daily consumption of tea at 94% of Kenyan households.
In this article, WoK brings you the story of Nadeem Ahmed – founder of Global Tea & Commodities Limited which produces the popular Kericho Gold and Baraka Chai tea brands and the background of the company.
Global Tea and Commodities is a fully integrated tea, coffee and macadamia company offering a wide range of services at all stages of the supply chain. Established in 1992, the company has grown to become one of the largest in Africa handling over 70 million kilos of tea in a year and sales in excess of USD 220 Million. The company employs over 4,000 people and is regarded as the largest independent tea company in the United Kingdom. It operates tea plantations and packing services.
Gold Crown Foods, a subsidiary of Global Tea & Commodities Limited, which is based in Mombasa is the largest private label tea packaging company in Africa, producing for major supermarket chains in Europe. The macadamia plantations in Malawi makes the company rank among the largest producers of macadamia nuts in Africa. It has tea sourcing offices in Kenya, Malawi, and India which combine to provide total solutions to the tea trade by way of procurement, warehousing and blending services. The company is also in the dairy industry-producing ‘Mama’s Choice’ brand of pasteurized and homogenized milk which retails in the Malawian market. Gold Crown Beverages Limited, which began its operations in 2001, produces the popular Kericho Gold and Baraka Chai brands.
The company is owned by Indian businessman Nadeem Ahmed. It was first established as a trading firm before later expanding to tea blending, and operating coffee and macadamia plantations across East Africa. Nadeem Ahmed serves as the Chief Executive Officer of the company while Fahim Ahmed who has lived in Kenya for over 25 years serves as the Director of Operations.
In 2021, the company sold an equity stake to three European financiers, raising funds for expansion of its Kenyan unit as reported by Business Daily. The three firms however did not disclose the amount invested or the size of equity they took. They include; Danish sustainable investment fund IFU, French development finance institution Proparco and advisory firm Si Advisers LLP. It was however revealed that the investment money will be channeled to the company’s Mombasa based packaging unit and the remaining to boost its Malawi operations.
“The proposed investment will assist Global Tea in building a new tea packaging facility in Mombasa, and support the group’s expansion plans in Africa,” read a joint statement from the three investment firms.