LONDON, UK – Finlays, part of Swire Group and a leading global supplier of tea, coffee and botanical solutions, has appointed James Woodrow as its new Group Managing Director. Woodrow brings a wealth of experience to the role and joins from Swire Shipping where he was Managing Director for the last seven years. He has been with Swire since 1990 and has held executive roles at various Swire businesses including Cargo Director at the airline Cathay Pacific.
Headquartered in the UK, Finlays is one of the world’s foremost suppliers of tea, coffee and botanicals to the global beverage industry and beyond. Founded in 1750, Finlays has extensive and diverse operations across Europe, North America, South America, Asia, Africa and the Middle East. It also has a unique bush to cup supply chain in tea, a strong direct trade coffee sourcing network, and is a major player in the global tea, coffee and botanical extracts market.
Over recent years, Finlays has increased its focus on extracts via organic growth, acquisition and innovation. It is the world’s largest producer of cold brew coffee and will soon open a new UK cold brew coffee production facility to serve Europe.
It also offers a range of premium, health-focussed tea extracts called The Wellbeing Collection which are produced at its Saosa facility in Kenya, one of the few extracts facilities globally situated on a tea farm.
Woodrow says, “Finlays has an illustrious heritage stretching back nearly 300 years and is a trusted and admired industry leader. Today, it is ideally placed to serve the evolving needs of the global beverage market by helping customers address critical long-term consumer trends, whether that’s health and wellbeing, premiumisation or sustainability.”
Through its integrated supply chains, Finlays strives to operate with sustainability at the heart of all it does, creating value for stakeholders at every stage from bush to cup. This is something Woodrow believes is of paramount importance to the future of Finlays.
He says, “Sustainability – whether environmental, social, or economic – is a defining characteristic of our era. Global consumers have never been more switched on to the provenance of their food and drink and this represents a big opportunity for the beverage industry, even in markets where this trend is just emerging.”
He continues: “The scope and scale of Finlays means it can offer true traceability and assurance that its products have been ethically sourced. But most importantly, it gives us the precious ability to have a positive, long-term impact on the communities we serve around the world, and the environments in which we operate. Our core value of ‘sustainable’ has never been more important.”
Woodrow joined Finlays in September and will be based at its headquarters in London, UK.