Disruptions to Tea Supply Chain

October 21, 2020
Disruptions to Tea Supply Chain

Disruptions to the global tea supply chain, from the movement restrictions of the pandemic to weather issues, are causing serious supply problems with tea.

These disruptions, coupled with an increase in tea consumption at home for its health benefits, have resulted in a 50% surge in wholesale prices of tea, a 1.7% cost increase in packaged tea bags, and a 9.6% price increase in liquid tea.

Video Spotlight: 

This post is based on the Forbes article, Here Is Why Your Next Cup Of Tea Will Cost More Money, by Lana Bandoim, September 24, 2020, and the YouTube video in the Spotlight. Image source: Shutterstock / Tatyana Soares

Discussion Questions:

1. What areas of the tea supply chain are affected by the COVID-19 pandemic?

Guidance: The pandemic affects the entire tea supply chain.  The lockdowns disrupted tea leaf-picking during the spring harvest season.  They also delayed shipments by a month.

2. What factors have contributed to a rise in tea prices?

Guidance: The factors include a shortage of tea supply and a surge in tea demand.  Tea supply is disrupted because of movement restrictions during pandemic lockdowns, affecting tea harvesting and shipping.  Additionally, tea production is hampered by colder-than-normal temperature and droughts.  Moreover, demand for tea has increased, as more people are drinking tea at home for its antioxidant benefits during the pandemic.  The result is a rise in tea price to reduce demand to match supply.


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