Gustavo Mamao, who led the creation of DAISA Capital says, "We believe we need a new model for investing in and building a sustainable, and regenerative food system. There are certain types of organizations that do not fit necessarily in the CPG growth model because they want to do more than sell their products; they want to be part of systemic change. Young Mountain Tea goes beyond labels such as 'fair trade' or 'organic' to having authentic partnership and investment with smallholder farmers, understanding and connecting to what makes community real and sustainable. These true relationships and systemic understanding is what we seek to invest in as DAISA."
“We’re excited and honored to partner with DAISA” said Raj Vable, Founder and CEO of Young Mountain Tea. "Their commitment to value-driven businesses, their experience as successful entrepreneurs, and their relationships with other food system innovators make them ideal partners as we take our next steps to grow our business and impact.”
“Himalayan farmers are already incredibly gifted at growing tea," Raj said. "They just lack the resources and market access to translate those skills into sustainable livelihoods. I founded Young Mountain Tea to bridge the gap between these farmers and the growing American specialty tea market.”
Today Young Mountain Tea sources some of the best teas in the world from over 850 smallholder tea farmers in five primary regions. Through these purchases, Young Mountain Tea creates opportunities for Himalayan women to achieve financial freedom. For seven years, the company has worked with tea farmers in India’s Kumaon region, where 90% of tea farmers are women. Today, Kumaon tea farmers earn 4x the industry average and many are experiencing financial independence for the first time. Now Young Mountain Tea is partnering with smallholder farmers and NGOs to build additional opportunities, launching new tea processing factories in the area, which will enable women farmers to 1) have incomes 10x the norm, 2) participate in a profit-sharing plan beyond their paycheck, and 3) grow their skills via empowerment training.
Young Mountain Tea is growing as a business as well as an impact engine. It is addressing the $2.7B US specialty tea market, and it is also positioned to capture some of the fast-growing health and wellness market opportunities. The company has a strong brand and ecommerce presence, and is now focusing on increasing its volume through developing its B2B sales. Due to founder Raj’s farmer relationships, the company’s work to launch a state-of-the-art tea processing facility in partnership with farmers, and its consistency of quality, Young Mountain Tea has an expanding list of bulk tea and private label customers, generating larger and larger orders for farmer suppliers and still maintaining healthy gross margins for the company. Sales have grown each year of the company’s existence, and are on track to grow 100% in 2021.
About Young Mountain Tea
Young Mountain Tea was launched in 2013 when Founder Raj Vable made a promise to a Himalayan non-profit: if they would organize local mountain farmers to grow high-quality tea, he would set up a company in the US to sell it. The company’s mission is to develop a market that raises up emerging tea makers, creating vibrant mountain economies and healthy lands across the Indian subcontinent. The company specializes in sourcing single-origin, organic, loose-leaf teas direct from smallholder farmers. Their collection of 25+ teas is available through the company’s website and sold to bulk and private label companies.
About DAISA and DAISA Capital
DAISA Enterprises was founded by Daniel Ross in the fall of 2015. It works at the intersection of food, health and economic development. DAISA provides strategy consulting, initiative design and management services, for national and regional philanthropic foundation and impact investor clients, as well as high-impact social enterprises, working in community food systems, health, and community development.
DAISA Capital is a branch of DAISA Enterprises and was co-founded with Gustavo Mamao, a serial entrepreneur who came to join DAISA as part of a plan to prove a new model for investing in and building the Sustainable Food and Agriculture space. DAISA Capital expects to support a small portfolio of inspiring food companies, and it is looking for other Investors partners in the Food and Impact Investment field to grow its model / approach.
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