Finlays’ CEO bows out of the business to venture into own beverage line

UK – Finlays, the leading independent B2B supplier of tea, coffee, and botanical solutions worldwide, has lost the services of the Managing Director (MD) Guy Chambers, who has stepped down from the position.

Chambers has been leading the B2B coffee and tea supplier for seven years and this marks the end of his 29-year-long career with the parent company Swire.

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He leaves Finlays to start his own business in the beverage sector and explore opportunities from his home base in London.

During his tenure at the drinks firm, he oversaw the sale of Finlay’s Horticulture, the closure of Finlay’s Pakistan, the privatization of Finlay’s Colombo, the acquisition of Aspen Beverages in Texas, and investment into cold brew coffee extraction in Hull.

Last October saw Finlays invest millions of pounds in a new extraction plant in Hull to produce cold brew coffee for branded and own-label grocery and foodservice suppliers.

The site is located next to Finlays Europe’s tea decaffeination facility in Hull and allows the company to supply bulk concentrate, ready-to-drink cans, and bag-in-box through ambient and refrigerated supply chain networks.

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In addition, since Finlays became wholly owned by the Swire Group in 2000, it has expanded its beverage business through new investments in China (acquiring shares in Damin).

Also, it has invested in the Americas (acquiring ownership of Autocrat, Casa Fuentes, and Aspen Beverage Group), together with continued investments in its existing business in Europe, Africa, and Asia.

Accordingly, in January, Finlays, and Firmenich, the world’s largest privately-owned fragrance and taste company, entered an agreement giving Firmenich full sales rights to Finlays’ European tea and coffee extracts portfolio in Europe, effective immediately.

Under the agreement, Firmenich would focus on commercializing two core parts of Finlays’ extracts business in Europe, that is, its world-leading Cold Brew Coffee portfolio and its Tea Extract portfolio.

The partnership focuses exclusively on Finlays’ ranges of tea and coffee extracts and covers European markets only.

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Finlays’ Cold Brew Coffee portfolio serves a rapidly-growing segment within the European region and is crafted using a proprietary process that delivers a distinctly smooth, rich flavor experience, according to Finlay.

Finlays’ Tea Extract portfolio includes The Wellbeing Collection, a range of premium, all-natural tea extracts which are rich in bioactive compounds associated with various health benefits and are sustainably sourced from Finlays’ own tea farms in Kenya.

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