A letter from Tim and Sebastian
7th September 2017
Yesterday was a big day for all of us at Pukka. It marked a springboard into Pukka’s exciting future. For some, it may be a surprise; it has certainly taken us some time and some deep soul searching to feel what is right for Pukka’s future.
For anyone who has met us, you will know that Pukka is the most important part of our lives. We would never ever do anything to harm her. We thank you for the trust you have placed in our hands all these years and humbly ask that your trust continues as we all embark on this new journey.
Over the last 16 years we have been privileged to serve millions of cups of tea to people round the world; we’ve shown that ethical business can thrive. With your help, love and support we’ve created thousands of acres of organically certified land, protected huge tracts of biodiverse land thorough sustainable wild harvesting, supported thousands of farmers with reliable livelihoods and brought the power of herbs into millions of people’s lives. We’re on a journey to do much more of this – the bigger we get, the more good we do.
Of course, to do this we need some investment and we need to make sure that Pukka is in safe hands for the future, way beyond our lifetimes.
We went off in search of a suitable investor. In the crazy world of the financial realms we soon discovered that private equity and venture capital would be a poor choice for us – we’re not here to be sold randomly, we’re not here to reshape Pukka’s values.
We have taken our time – a lot of time – to find the best partner, one that will help us deliver our ethical and environmental promises long into the future.
We knew that a partnership with a ‘big business’ would lead to questions about the sanctity of our values; questions about the integrity of our herbs; and, perhaps most importantly, questions about Pukka’s soul and whether it will survive. Only a partner that would support and grow our work would do.
Unilever is big. And that’s the point. Unilever gives us new levels of reach and influence. Not just outside influence, but influence from within too. We will challenge our new owners just as we have always challenged each other.
The Unilever tea team we’ve worked with have shown they are on a mission to create a more caring and sustainable world. If you want to see how they how live up to this, check out their inspiring Sustainable Living Plan.
We are both committed to carrying on what we love doing most; we’ll be staying on Pukka’s Leadership Board – steering the vision for profit with a purpose. Sebastian will keep concocting all our organic teas and supplements and Tim will keep driving our purpose for conservation through commerce around the world.
As part of the agreement, we have an ironclad commitment that Pukka will be forever 100% organic, continue to donate at least 1% of our annual sales to environmental charities, be committed to sustainable wild harvesting with FairWild, be a champion of fair trading with Fair for Life , being part of the B Company movement.
So, our mission continues, with greater ambition and greater purpose. We’re going to do our little bit to help make a big change around the world from here in Bristol. We are not going to stop championing the power of plants, shouting about organic, promoting fair business and doing the best we can to help make the world a better place.
We’re hugely grateful to everyone who continues to share that mission. From the farmers and wild herb collectors we’ve worked with for the last 16 years, our Pukka partners around the world, and our own Pukka people. And, of course, all of you who enjoy our herbal magic.
The bigger we become, the more good we will do. Thanks to you.
Herbal blessings Tim and Sebastian
Co-Founders of Pukka Herbs