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Tue 24 May 2011 06:48 PM

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Unilever to expand Dubai tea factory amid rising demand

Consumer giant says it will increase production at Lipton Tea Factory to meet double digit growth

Unilever to expand Dubai tea factory amid rising demand
Unileve ris expanding its Lipton tea manufacturing facility in Dubai to meet the rising demand for tea in the region. (Getty Images)

Unilever, one of the world's largest consumer goods companies said on Tuesday it will be expanding its Lipton tea manufacturing facility in Dubai to meet the rising demand for tea in the region.

The expansion will enable the Lipton Tea Factory, located in Jafza, to increase its production capacity of both black and green tea.

Tim Drury, vice president Supply Chain, Unilever North Africa, Middle East and Central Africa, said: "The number of tea cups consumed annually in this part of the world is approximately 13.4 billion, making it one of the highest tea per capita consumption regions around the world today."

He said the demand for tea was seeing double-digit growth, with even faster growth reported in non-black tea segments.

The Lipton tea factory in Jafza is Unilever's second largest tea manufacturing plant in the world, producing one million tea bags per hour. This excludes the other variants of tea such as loose tea that the factory produces.

"In the last five years, we have introduced Green tea, Chai Latte and lately the Pyramids tea bags which all received an overwhelming response from our consumers in the region. The non-black tea market segment fosters our confidence in growth in the years to come," added Drury.

Until 1998, tea for the Arabian markets was sourced from the United Kingdom.

Unilever set up its first fully automated tea factory in 1998 in Jebel Ali Free Zone in Dubai.

While the factory was originally conceived to supply to the local markets, the site has since grown in capacity and geographic reach.

With production volumes increasing from 5000 Tons to over 25,000 tonnes in 10 years, the site is now a global sourcing hub exporting tea to more than 41 countries.

Ibrahim Mohamed Al Janahi, deputy CEO, Jafza, said: "The MENA region represents a vital market for tea manufacturers and we commend Unilever for their business foresight in further expanding their state-of-the-art tea manufacturing facility in Jafza."

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