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For other uses, see Tetley (disambiguation).
Industry Food
Founded 1837; 179 years ago (1837)
Founder Joseph and Edward Tetley
Headquarters England
Area served
Products Tea
Parent Tata Global Beverages
Website tetley.com

Tetley is an English beverage manufacturer, and the world's second largest manufacturer and distributor of tea. Tetley's manufacturing and distribution business is spread across 40 countries and sells over 60 branded tea bags. It is the largest tea company in the United Kingdom and Canada and the second largest in the United States by volume. It is a wholly owned subsidiary of Tata Global Beverages (formerly Tata Tea).

After Tetley was purchased by the Tata Group in 2000, most of its business in Asia was integrated with Tata Tea and the company planned to completely integrate its worldwide business with Tata Tea by 2006. The new group, Tata Tea Group, later renamed Tata Global Beverages, is the second largest manufacturer of tea in the world after Unilever.[1][2]


Tetley tea canister from Canada

In 1822, brothers Joseph and Edward Tetley sold salt from a pack horse in Yorkshire, England.[3] They started to sell tea and the venture became such a success that they set up as tea merchants "Joseph Tetley & Co." in 1837.[4] They relocated to London in 1856 and set up "Joseph Tetley & Company, Wholesale Tea Dealers".[5] It was the first company to sell tea in tea-bags in the United Kingdom in 1953.[6]

In 1952, in an early example of cross-promotion, Petula Clark's single "Anytime Is Tea-Time Now" was used to advertise Tetley on Radio Luxembourg.

The Tetley Group was created in July 1995 as a result of a buy-in management buy-out, when a group of investors bought the worldwide beverage business from Allied Domecq.[7] The Tetley Group was bought by India's Tata Group in February 2000 for £271 million.[8] It was one of the largest overseas acquisitions by an Indian company at that time. Tata Group is one of India's largest business conglomerates comprising more than 100 companies including Tata Global Beverages. The acquisition has helped Tata's business ambitions to hold a global tea company. As India reduces import duties on tea, Tata Global Beverages has offset its reduced share of the domestic market by gains in Europe and North America.

In 2014, Columbia Law School[9] and The Guardian[10] reported that some of Tetley's tea is harvested by workers who do not receive the minimum wage in India. In a statement placed on its website, Tetley's parent company, Tata Global Beverages, announced it had "appointed legal advisors to verify compliances by independent review. The legal advisors will also appoint and commission an independent third party Solidaridad to make an assessment into the living and working conditions of the workers at the APPL plantations.".[11] The company has claimed that APPL is not used in Tetley tea internationally, and that it has supplied only one small shipment of Assam tea for use in Tetley in India in the last three years.

UNICEF announced in October 2014 that they are working with tea companies and with the Ethical Tea Partnership (ETP) to tackle child exploitation in Indian tea communities. The three-year program is funded by a number of advocacy groups, Tata Global Beverages and Tesco.[12]


  • Original Black Tea
  • Decaf
  • Redbush
  • The Blend Collection
    • Extra Strong
    • Kenyan Gold
    • Blend of Both
  • Green Tea
    • Pure
    • Lemon
    • Decaf
  • Super Green Tea
    • Berry Burst
    • Tropical
    • Lemon and Honey
    • Lime
  • Earl Grey
  • Peppermint
  • Camomile

See also[edit]


  1. ^ tata.com : Tetley's fiscal show to jazz up Tata Tea results Archived 11 November 2006 at the Wayback Machine.‹The template Wayback is being considered for merging.› 
  2. ^ "Tata Global Beverages". www.tata.com. Retrieved 21 March 2015. 
  3. ^ "History of Tetley Tea". Retrieved 25 April 2008. 
  4. ^ Tata Global Beverages - Brand Detail
  5. ^ "Error". tetleyusa.com. 
  6. ^ "BrandsTell. Tetley's history". brandstell.com. 
  7. ^ "Tata Global Beverages Services Ltd.: Private Company Information - Businessweek". Businessweek.com. 
  8. ^ tata.com : Tetley purchase at £ 271 million Archived 11 November 2006 at the Wayback Machine.‹The template Wayback is being considered for merging.› 
  9. ^ "The More Things Change... (The World Bank, Tata and Enduring Abuses on India's Tea Plantations)" (PDF). web.law.columbia.edu. Columbia Law School, The Human Rights Institute. January 2014. Retrieved 6 April 2014. 
  10. ^ Chamberlain Sonitpur, Gethin (1 March 2014). "India's tea firms urged to act on slave trafficking after girls freed". theguardian.com. The Observer. Retrieved 1 March 2014. 
  11. ^ http://www.tataglobalbeverages.com/sustainability/statement-on-independent-assessment-of-appl-plantations
  12. ^ "Tea giants join partnership to tackle child exploitation in Indian tea communities". 

External links[edit]