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Will Battle

Fine Tea Merchants
Will Battle has worked in the tea industry for more than 25 years. He started his career at Tetley in the UK and trained in India, Sri Lanka, Kenya, and Malawi. He has blended for factories in consumption markets as diverse as Australia, Pakistan, Europe, Russia, South Africa, and the USA. He has bought tea from all major origins. In 2007 he moved to Switzerland to take charge of tea procurement and responsible sourcing strategy for the Sara Lee/Douwe Egberts/JDE businesses in the Netherlands, Hungary, and the USA.  He relocated in the same role to Utrecht in The Netherlands in 2013. Whilst at Douwe Egberts, Will sat as a non-executive director on the board of the Ethical Tea Partnership and of the DE Foundation.
Will returned to the UK in 2016 to establish Fine Tea Merchants Ltd, a tea import, export, and wholesale business that is active in the UK and further afield supplying small and medium-sized tea businesses.  His book The World Tea Encyclopaedia was published in 2017 with the second edition appearing in 2020 and the third edition in 2023. It has won a Best in the World award at the Gourmand Awards. He is currently working on a tea monograph for the International Wine and Food Society (IWFS) to be published in 2024.
Will has consulted for origin brands on themes of quality, range, and blend optimization, for Private Equity houses on corporate tea procurement strategy, and for NGOs on living wages. He is an instructor on the UC Davis Global Tea Institute’s Professional Tea Program.
His chief interest areas lie in trying to identify where tea can learn from other industries such as wine in making its offering more appealing to the consuming public, and in how the tea industry can more effectively drive value addition back upstream to the benefit of tea-producing communities. Will lives in Lincolnshire, UK where he also helps to run the family arable farm.

My Speakers Sessions

Tuesday, March 19

9:30am PDT