The award was handed to Ms Bella Nyirahuku, Marketing and Sales Manager at Rwanda Mountain Tea Ltd (RMT), the company that manages the Kitabi Tea Estate, and Mr Jean Mutabazi, the former Managing Director of Kitabi Tea Estate, on 27 September 2017 at Harrogate, in the UK.
Kitabi Tea Estate, one of the tea estates in which Rwanda Mountain Tea Ltd (RMT) has majority shares, is located in the Southern Province, approximately 175 kilometres away from Kigali city.
Ms Nyirahuku reported that ToH uses tea from Kitabi in its premium blend, Yorkshire Gold, which utilises top best tea from different origins.
“Taylors of Harrogate, with whom RMT has signed a forward contract that is renewable every two years, has been a privileged private buyer of our tea products since 2011. This client buys Kitabi tea at a premium price, in recognition of the superior quality of our production. Taylors of Harrogate gave Kitabi this award to commend the reliability of the tea estate to produce quality tea and to deliver it as per the buyer’s market requirements” she told IGIHE on Tuesday.
She commended Kitabi tea outgrowers’ outstanding performance, saying that the award is an encouragement for both the tea planters and factory staff members to continue producing quality tea and delivering it in accordance to best international standards.
“Kitabi tea farmers have made it their profession to grow tea because they know they benefit from the tea business. The award is a recognition of their efforts and proves their commitment to producing quality. It is of great importance to see a globally renowned firm putting our tea on their blend and awarding us the best supplier of the year award,” said Nyirahuku.
ToH also supports tea cooperatives in Kitabi area through various schemes including giving them tea farming skills and agricultural inputs, availing potable water from existing springs and assisting with life earning skills, among others.
From 2011 to August 2017, ToH bought privately 1,104 tonnes of Kitabi tea at premium price. ToH is committed to expanding its business with RMT by buying more tea from various tea estates under RMT management.
Kitabi tea has attracted global attention as a quality tea producer since 2011. It has earned regional and international prizes and is today counted among the best black CTC tea in the world.
Kitabi tea was awarded the best overall black CTC at the 2nd East African Tea Covention in 2013 and received two awards in 2015 for the best BP1 and the 2nd best PF1 at the North American Global Tea competition that took place in San Antonio, Texas, USA.
More recently, Kitabi tea scooped the award of the best Dust 1 tea producer at the Africa Tea Convention and Exhibition, held in Kenya in May 2017 where Rwandan factories scooped 11 out of 12 awards offered.