What is Bettys & Taylors about?
We’re a Yorkshire family business best known for our 6 Bettys Cafe Tea Rooms and as the home of Yorkshire Tea and Taylors Coffee. Our business started in 1919 when Frederick Belmont, a Swiss confectioner, opened his first Bettys Café Tea Rooms in Harrogate. We’re still owned by Frederick’s family and we think of our business as a legacy, to be handed down to future generations of stakeholders. With this comes a commitment to growing in a way that respects the planet and communities in which we work.
How did you hear about the Queen’s Awards?
We go back a long way with the Queen’s Awards. In 2001, Bettys & Taylors was one of the first winners of the Award for Sustainable Development, which recognised us as a business that works to balance the long term needs of all our stakeholders – staff, suppliers, community, customers and the planet. We were honoured again in 2007 and in April this year we won our third Award.
Why did you decide to apply?
We have a global tea and coffee supply chain which reaches over 1 million farmers and workers in 24 countries. Over the last few years we’ve worked incredibly hard to develop and roll out an innovative new approach to sustainable sourcing in the face of ever- increasing challenges such as climate change and rural poverty.
We have a huge amount to share and the Queen’s Award application gave us the space to do this – just one example of our work is with our growers in Kenya – one of our most important tea growing regions. Here, we’ve worked with suppliers to install rainwater harvesting and filtration systems in 50 schools as well as community centres, bringing fresh water to 27,000 people; supported secondary school children with educational bursaries; and are funding a 10 year project to plant 1 million trees with 4,000 tea smallholders.
A Queen’s Award is the highest honour that can be bestowed on a UK business and drives us to do even more in partnership with our suppliers to develop a thriving sustainable future for the communities from which we source our tea and coffee.
What did you feel like when you won?
The Award acknowledges that we’re leading the way when it comes to creating a sustainable supply chain, for everyone’s benefit. This made us feel very proud of our commitment and the progress made so far, as well as acknowledging the fantastic support we receive from our people, partners and growers around the world.
How do you hope the Award will help your business?
This Award is a wonderful way to recognise our employees who have worked so hard to put our values at the heart of the way we source our commodities. It also helps us to inform our customers about the work we are doing with our partners around the world.
Any advice for others thinking of applying?
There is a huge sense of pride as well as a drive to keep raising standards and doing things better that comes from winning a Queen’s Award. We take ours, not as a sign that we have all the answers, but as recognition of the progress we have made, the passion we have for our cause and the serious commitment we have to working in a way that benefits our stakeholders now and in the future.