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John Snell, Partner & Tea Master

John Snell has spent over 35 years in the tea industry, working with global brand leaders, trading houses and private label packers too. During this time, he has managed tea and herbal buying, blending and consumer product development and sustainable programme management. Most recently, he managed these for one of North America’s premier private label companies, serving a Who’s Who of Retail and Food service clients.   

The last 27 years have been in North America where he has been an active member of the trade, sitting on the board of the US Tea Association and as a regular speaker and Gold Medal Award taste panelist at the North American Tea Conferences. He sits on the Canadian Tea Association’s grading panel and is a contributor to trade publications. He is proud to have assisted various Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) papers on revitalizing the tea sector and on broader sustainability focus. He is an advocate for industry activity on sustainability, has sat on the board of the Ethical Tea Partnership and on the steering committee of the Sustainable Coffee Programme (the precursor to the Global Coffee Platform) and has helped design and build bespoke programming in Coffee and Tea origins for positive change. 

He believes strongly in the case for tea as a hero crop and has built a reputation as a thought leader and communicator on behalf of the industry: forthright and creative, John believes that tea is underselling itself and that the industry needs to get on the front foot quickly to ensure success in the future.