March 2/Amsterdam/Press Release -- Wessanen has announced its acquisition of U.K.-based tea and coffee company Clipper Teas Limited.

Clipper is based in Dorset, U.K., and has reported revenue of £16 million in 2011, employing around 90 employees. The Clipper brand is among the market leaders in the U.K.’s organic and fair trade tea arena.

Clipper is a 100%-branded business which successfully stretches across the tea, coffee and hot chocolate range. It has its own factory in Beaminster (U.K.). Its products are sold across different channels such as grocery chains, health food stores, foodservice and, increasingly, export. It has a full range of teas including everyday, green, white, specialties and infusions. All products are free from any artificial ingredients, and it includes an entire range of fair trade organic teas. Its instant and ground coffees are made with organic and fair trade Arabica beans, and its hot and drinking chocolate are also all organic and fair trade.

Piet Hein Merckens (CEO) explained, "Clipper is a very welcome addition to the Wessanen brand portfolio, and its products are predominately in tea, one of our core categories. Its position as the U.K.'s favorite organic and fair trade tea brand, as well as its clear potential in other markets across Europe, means that it will enable us to further build towards our ambition of having the most desired organic brands in Europe. We very much admire what the team at Clipper have achieved and want to build on this, investing in the brand, blending and manufacturing capability."

Clipper will be integrated into the U.K. businesses of Wessanen, which currently includes Kallo Foods Ltd, which has natural and organic brands including Kallo and Whole Earth.

 From the March 5, 2012, Prepared Foods' Daily News.