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Port of Tyne bags Rings tea deal
RINGTONS said it was "happy to be coming home" after agreeing a deal to ship its tea via The Port of Tyne for the first time in 50 years.
Rising fuel costs have prompted the decision to sign a three year deal that will see of 4 million kilos of tea off-loaded at the port - enough to brew 1.48 billion cups of tea per year.
The deal will see the port handle up to 250 containers of tea per year, storing many different varieties in its warehouse, and distributing tea on demand to the Ringtons factory in Longbenton, Newcastle.
Once packaged the tea will be distributed all over the UK; as well as producing its own blends, the firm also produces teas for retailers including Sainsburys, Waitrose and Marks & Spencer.
Founded in 1907 Ringtons traditionally shipped tea through the Port of Tyne, where it was brought ashore close to its factory in Newcastle but for logistical and cost reasons the ports of Liverpool, Bristol, London and more recently Felixstowe have handed its shipments that come in from producers in the likes of India and Kenya.
Andrew Moffat, Chief Executive at the Port of Tyne, was delighted to secured the deal for the North-East.
"Our location and distribution services mean that containers and tea samples can be brought directly from ship, to warehouse and delivered to Ringtons within hours," he said. "It is very pleasing to have won back this business and we hope this deal leads to a longer term arrangement." He expected the deal would help to create a handful of new jobs at the port that employs about 500 workers.
Nigel Smith, Chairman and great grandson of Ringtons founder Samuel Smith, said: "We have 105 years of history in the region and this deal helps to reinforce our place as a business very much rooted in the North-East."