Job Title: Master Buyer/Blender
Tell us about your role at Twinings and what you do.
I am part of a team of buyers and blenders responsible for sourcing, buying and blending the tea and herbs for the whole of the Twinings portfolio of products. We are tea and herb tasters with a commercial buying role and liaise and support many different functions in the business.
How long have you worked at Twinings?
I joined in 1990 as a graduate trainee.
Tell us a typical day in the life of your role.
A typical day will involve a lot of tasting of different raw materials, that we are looking to use in the current business or considering new items that we could use in the development of new blends and products. We have to maintain quality and continuity of supply, so we have calls with producers, suppliers and agents, to assess the markets and potential risks in terms of availability, seasonal variation or market price and take mitigating action in conjunction with the management team. We work closely with the Social Impact team on checking raw material supply chains for traceability and transparency of supply. It is afterall agricultural crops we are dealing with and no season is ever the same as the last, which remains our constant challenge to deliver consistent product quality time after time.
What do you love about your job?
What I love most is meeting growers and producers who are passionate and energised about the crops they grow and coming across a new raw material that ends up featuring in one of our products that consumers will love drinking. It’s the development of the end to end supply chain from field to cup and the turning of ideas into great tasting products.
What made you choose your career?
I'd thought about a career in Commodities after meeting a tobacco trader many years ago. Tobacco lead to coffee and coffee lead to tea and that’s where I ended up!
What do you think are the best skills that you bring to your job?
You need to be interested in how things taste and the provinence of ingredients and have an aptitude to taste which can be developed into a skill. An interest in world affairs and have a cultural awareness are all important.
Name three words that you describe you.
Conscentious, positive, motivated.
How do you think your colleagues would describe you?
Integrity, enthusiastic, coaching.
What’s your favourite country you’ve visited?
South Africa for Rooibos and the diverse land and seascape. India for Darjeeling tea, colour and cultural.
What’s your favourite tea?
Rich malty, tippy 'orthodox' Assam leaf tea.
What’s your favourite herb?
Peppermint with its heady fresh menthol richness.