TV special shows how tea producer has risen to pandemic challenge

Gregg Wallace at the factory in 2017

The Typhoo tea factory in Moreton will feature on national TV tonight in a special broadcast on how it has stepped up to the plate to boost supplies during the coronavirus crisis.

BBC2’s hit series ‘Inside the Factory’ returns to the Wirral plant for a second visit in three years, to be shown at 8pm tonight, June 15.

The programme looks at how the plant has risen to the challenge of keeping supplies in full flow throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

Presenter Gregg Wallace will catch up, remotely, with some of the Typhoo workers he interviewed when he visited the site three years ago.

Viewers of ‘Inside The Factory, Keeping Britain Going’ will see how demand for tea – and Typhoo in particular – has risen sharply during the coronavirus outbreak, with Typhoo increasing production from 81 million tea bags to 109 million, per week.

Throughout the hour-long episode, Gregg looks back over the entire tea production process, which previously saw fellow presenter Cherry Healey travelling to Kenya to watch the tea crop being picked, processed and shipped 4,000 miles to Moreton, before learning how to make the very best brew.

In a series of video calls, Gregg catches up with blending manager Dave Langton, who reassures him that, despite some media reports of tea shortages, the nation can rest easy, Typhoo has several months’ worth of tea supplies and is keeping a close eye on the situation.

Operations manager Danny McGrail highlights some of the social distancing practices now in place and tells how Typhoo has supplied 72 million tea bags for government shield packages issued to vulnerable people self-isolating at home.

In the despatch area, Danny explains how Typhoo is now delivering direct to supermarkets, rather than via distribution centres, to guarantee tea is getting on-shelf as quickly and safely as possible.

Danny McGrail being interviewed remotely

Des Kingsley, Typhoo Tea chief executive, said the company was delighted to share with the nation how it had risen to all the challenges posed by COVID-19.

“We know from the first programme that the nation is fascinated by the tea production process,” he said.

“I’m sure people will appreciate the lengths we have gone to in recent weeks, changing processes and introducing new health and safety measures to ensure the nation’s tea drinkers can still enjoy a regular cuppa during these most challenging times.”

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