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Case Study

We Love You in the Morning & in the Afternoon: Australia's Growing Tea Industry


Today, Australian tea is grown and produced in:

  • The northern part of the Northern Territory, a tropical savannah climate with high humidity in wet and dry seasons.
  • The northern part of New South Wales, with hot, wet summers; cool, dry winters; and less apparent turns in seasons.
  • Queensland, a sub-tropical humid climate with a rainy season from October to May and a relatively dry offseason.

Australia primarily produces black tea, though green tea is produced in the Alpine Valleys of Victoria.

Australia’s Tea Market

In 2018, Australia’s tea segment accounted for more than AUD$1,641.4 million in revenues. Revenues are expected to grow to more than AUD$1,713.3 million for year-end 2019. Through 2023, Australia’s tea market is expected to grow at an annual rate of 3.5%. Over the last eight years, Australian tea revenues have grown by more than 56%.

In comparison, Australia’s tea volume was 16.5 million kilograms in 2018. Volumes are expected to grow to 16.9 million kilograms for year-end 2019. Through 2023, Australia’s tea volume is expected to grow to 18.1 million kilograms. Over the last eight years, Australia’s tea volumes have grown by nearly 27%.

Today, Australia’s tea and coffee industries employ more than 3,375 people at more than 265 companies. The majority of market share is owned by JDE Professional, Nestle, Unilever Australia, and Vittoria Food and Beverage. Other Australian tea growers include Nerada Tea, the Alpine Tea Company, the Northern Rivers Tea Estate, the Daintree Tea Company, and the Two Rivers Green Tea Company. Still, the majority of tea is imported, as domestic tea production remains relatively small.*

*Information courtesy of: Statista, Travel Online, Travel Guide-EN, PhysicalGeography.net, The lost plantation: a history of the Australian tea industry, and the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations.

Vortex & the Global Tea Industry

Vortex has been providing dry bulk material handling equipment to the global tea industry for more than a decade. In that time, Vortex has supplied more than 75 slide gates, diverter valves, iris diaphragms and loading chutes specifically designed for handing dry tea leaves.

Vortex slide gates, diverter valves and loading chutes offer many bespoke features. Those include:

  • All material contact areas constructed from 304 stainless steel.
  • An electropolished blade to accommodate wash-down.
  • PET polymer seals to prevent swelling in the presence of moisture during wash-down procedures.
  • Ferrule fittings to accommodate compression couplings, rather than studded bolt flanges.

Note: Vortex slide gates, diverter valves, iris diaphragms and loading chutes are built to IECEx specifications.

One of Vortex's largest tea customers has been Taylor's of Harrogate, a tea and coffee merchant located in North Yorkshire, England. Since 1886, Taylor’s has offered a range which includes black teas, organic blends, decaffeinated blends, green teas and herbal infusions, among others. These varieties are currently sold in more than 35 countries worldwide. Taylor’s is also a founding member of the Ethical Tea Partnership.

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