|Owner||Associated British Foods|
|Country||London, United Kingdom|
Twinings (//) is an English marketer of tea and other beverages, including coffee, hot chocolate and malt drinks, based in Andover, Hampshire. The brand is owned by Associated British Foods. It holds the world's oldest continually-used company logo, and is London's longest-standing ratepayer, having occupied the same premises on the Strand since 1706. Twining tea varieties include black, green and herbal teas, along with fruit-based cold infusions.
Twinings was founded by Thomas Twining, of Painswick, Gloucestershire, England, who opened Britain's first known tea room, at No. 216 Strand, London, in 1706; it still operates today. The firm's logo, created in 1787, is the world's oldest in continuous use.
Holder of a royal warrant, Twinings was acquired by Associated British Foods in 1964. The company is associated with Earl Grey tea, a tea infused with bergamot, though it is unclear when this association began, and how important the company's involvement with the tea has been. Competitor Jacksons of Piccadilly– acquired by Twinings during the 1990s –also had associations with the bergamot blend.
In April 2008, Twinings announced their decision to close its Belfast Nambarrie plant, a tea company in trade for over 140 years. Citing an "efficiency drive"; Twinings moved most of its production to China and Poland, in late 2011, while retaining its Andover, Hampshire factory with a reduced workforce.
Twinings' ethical tea programme, Sourced with Care, aims to improve the quality of life in the communities from which it buys tea. The company is a founding member of the Ethical Tea Partnership, a not-for-profit membership organisation of tea-packing companies which undertake monitoring and improving conditions on tea estates in all major tea-growing regions. Twinings has an Ethical Code of Conduct and works with all its packaging and raw material suppliers to ensure decent working conditions in the supply chain.
In August 2018, Twinings published a list of all its tea suppliers in India on its Sourced with Care website. This came after Traidcraft Exchange called on all the major UK tea brands to show the public which tea plantations they buy from and crack down on modern slavery in the supply chain. Traidcraft Exchange welcomed the move, their policy adviser, Fiona Gooch, saying that it would put "pressure on the other big tea brands ... to follow suit".
The Ethical Consumer Group, who publishes appraisals of the ethical practices of major companies, have assigned Twinings an 'F' Rating. Whilst Twinings were rated 'green' in Greenpeace's 2011 Truefood Guide, signifying a clear policy on excluding GM-derived ingredients, and some of Twinings Asha range of teas are certified Fairtrade, Twinings parent company, Associated British Foods, who 100% own Twinings, are responsible for an extensive list of unethical practices. Reports collated by Ethical Consumer Group to determine this ranking include:
One of Northern Ireland's top teas – and a favourite in Scotland too – is no longer to be packed in central Belfast.