The FINANCIAL -- Geoplant LLC, producer of Georgian tea under the brand name Gurieli, is taking actions to promote Georgian national cultural heritage and the export potential of Georgian production by offering some unique collector’s editions.
At the beginning of 2018 Geoplant LLC issued ‘Christmas Tea – Prince Gurieli’, which became an attractive and successful product on the market.
Later in the first quarter of this year, the company offered the tea ‘Gurieli from Rustaveli’s Country’, also a collector’s edition. This edition consists of nine species of tea, including three new varieties: ‘Field chamomile’, ‘snow rose’ and ‘Meskhetian nettle’, created by experienced experts at Gurieli, added to the already-familiar traditional black and traditional green tea, earl gray, jasmine blossom, alpine berries and wild mint.
The packaging of each variety of these Georgian teas is printed with the works of such famous painters as: Petre Otskheli, Pirosmani, Mikhail Zichi, Giorgi Eristavi, Mikheil Chikovani, Gregory Gagarin, and Boris Yohansen. The main theme of the package design is the famous poem of Shota Rustaveli’s ‘The Knight in the Panther’s Skin’.
“I want to tell you sincerely that every employee of the company is proud to be part of this great initiative,” said Mikheil Chkuaseli, CEO at Geoplant. “This collector’s edition gained great approval and positive feedback from customers. I want to mention that this is a charity-focused project. The main purpose of the project is to assist Georgia’s Art Palace as a state cultural institution. Therefore, part of the amount of money received from the sale of tea species from the ‘Gurieli from Rustaveli’s Country’ collection will be transferred to the Art Palace as a donation,” he added.
Geoplant LLC is currently offering a new collector’s edition – ‘Prince Gurieli Jubilee 100’, which will be dedicated to the 100th anniversary of the Democratic Republic of Georgia.
Geoplant LLC cemented itself as a leading producer of tea both in Georgia and all of the South Caucasus thanks to its rich resources of raw materials, processing/packing facilities, scientific potential, and potent brand development.
“Geographic location, climatic conditions, temperatures that vary drastically between summer and winter – it is all of these that determine the unique character of Georgian tea. Due to natural factors, it is not necessary to use pesticides and herbicides, therefore our tea is ecologically pure and the environment is less polluted,” Chkuaseli said.
“We get the raw materials for our tea from plantations of about 500 ha that are located in Georgia’s regions of Guria, Samegrelo and Imereti. Some of these raw materials are made from selective plantations that are grown as a result of varietal improvement. Mountain fresh air, pure rivers, sunny and rainy days – all of these factors together combine to create aromatic, ecologically-clean raw materials, which ultimately creates high quality and very tasty tea,” he added.
As of today, Geoplant LLC produces the following teas in Georgia: Prince Gurieli, Gurieli Classic, Gurieli Fruit Tea and Gurieli Herbal Tea, of which the Gurieli Classic black tea is the most highly demanded product. Gurieli teas are available in tin boxes as well as in pyramid teabags and pyramid teabags in individual envelopes.
Last year the company experienced eight percent growth in sales compared to 2016, while revenues totalled GEL 4,606,945 (Georgian national currency Lari) in 2017.
As of today, Gurieli tea is exported to Ukraine, the Czech Republic, Russia, Germany, the Netherlands, as well as to various other European countries by private exporters. As Chkuaseli says, Gurieli tea is most in demand in Ukraine.
Gurieli was able to establish itself as a brand and through export as well as various expos across the world, is somewhat known to the international market. In 2017-2018 the company participated in various exhibitions and festivals such as Tbilisi Tea Festival Mtatsminda Park, Tea and Coffee Festival at Karvasla, and others.
Geoplant LLC strengthened its position online, redesigned and renewed its website to provide greater clarity about its role and its products last year.
To achieve this goal the company teamed up with Digital Design and created a website “that meets all criteria”, said Chkuaseli.
Furthermore, Gurieli has an excellent presence on social networks such as Facebook and Instagram so as to have better direct communication with customers.
Geoplant LLC won a Golden Brand Award for its successful activities in 2017.
Prince Mamia V Gurieli (1809-1826), last ruler of the Guria principality in Western Georgia, took great interest in transforming and developing the agricultural sector.
Following the advice given by French botanists Andre Michaux and his son Francois Andre Michaux, who were the first to bring the tea plant to the United States in 1799, the Prince ordered samples of the first tea – Camellia Sinensis. These were brought to his botanical garden by the Scotsman Jacob Montague Marr, together with other exotic plants. Cultivation of this once unknown plant has laid the grounds for the development of what in the following decades became one of the biggest agricultural industries in Georgia.
Today Geoplant LLC is the largest Georgian tea-producing company. The company owns tea plantations as well as processing and packing facilities, and is therefore a ‘one-stop shop’ for the entire tea production process.
The company has close relationships of many years with both private and state-owned tea-producing companies around the world, including in Sri Lanka, India, Indonesia, Kenya, and Turkey. These liaisons are constantly nurtured by sharing scientific, technological, and practical experiences, and are the key elements for endless innovation, quality control, and expertise in the industry.