We are always asking the right questions to discover clarity. Innovation never takes the path of least resistance. It is a challenging journey with obstacles, switchbacks, and roadblocks that can make you wonder if you are even advancing. Innovation is a roller coaster ride facing volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity. It takes a special kind of company to thrive in turbulence. Qtrade has excelled in this environment since 1994.
Innovation, by definition, is the introduction of something new. Without innovation, there is nothing new, and without anything new, there will be no progress. If a company is not progressing, it simply cannot stay relevant in today's competitive market. At Qtrade, innovation is a philosophy. And at the heart of innovation, it must be disruptive. That is why we have created a Research and Development team led by food scientists and tea specialists to explore, implement and master new technologies in order to serve our clients better and to maintain our position as the leading full service tea solution provider in North America.
Technology is anything that helps us produce things faster, better or more efficient. It is the deliberate creation of products and processes to solve specific problems. Technology is redefining the ways consumers engage and companies compete. In this modern technological environment marked by close competition, organizations are required to innovate and develop at lightning speed to remain ahead even in the tea industry. These exhilarating conditions require companies to adapt, continuously learn, and understand that technology is the key to taking their organizations to a more beneficial, optimized, and connected level. That is why at Qtrade, technology in all its forms is at the heart of our operation.
Qtrade combines the most advanced tea manufacturing equipment and finishing technology with a talented and dedicated staff of food scientists, tea specialists, supply chain management professionals and manufacturing technicians to deliver world-class results to our clients every time. Internally we called this "craft, powered by technology."
At Qtrade we believe the best tea beverages unveil a multi-sensory experience that goes far beyond hydration. Leveraging on our leadership position in aroma, taste and sourcing, the we goes beyond to create tea experiences that do good and feel good, for the body and the planet. With a comprehensive portfolio of teas and botanicals sourced from around the world, Qtrade’s passion is to collaborate with clients to develop trend-setting innovations in beverages. ... to becoming the co-creation partner of choice for our clients.
This journey all starts with QTrade's 3D formulation methodology that integrates the sensory system of the olfactory, with supply chain management, and advanced manufacturing expertise to create a profitable, and scalable tea product.
What is the 3D approach? -- (assimilated from the original document)
1) Focus on the sensory experience of the formulation
The size of the leaves, the pops of color, the different textures, the aroma, the theater of the brewing process, the infusion color, and, of course, the taste. At QTrade, our passion for specialty tea is evident in the attention we pay to every sensory aspect of a recipe, from carefully planning the final ratio of flower petals to chasing that ideal infusion hue.
2) Rigorous planning of the supply chain
Every recipe has to be able to scale commercially, and the supply chain must be consistent and robust enough to support commercial volumes. A seasonal 2,000 lb consumer demand with many minor ingredients can be as challenging as several million pounds of annual consumer demand. QTrade performs this complex balancing act for you, dealing effectively with major and minor ingredients in the recipe.
3) Effectively moving from benchtop to final product
QTrade is a powerful ally through the infamous "deadzone", where many a great idea has not made it through the difficult journey from desktop formulation to commercialization.
a) The commercialization process: QTrade is your partner in taking a recipe from lab through factory to delivery dock. Does the recipe scale through the blending and packaging process? How do the manufacturing processes need to be calibrated to ensure delivery of the consumer experience intended by the lab? Additionally, what is the choice of packaging materials needed to consistently optimize this delivery?
b) Meeting regulatory demands: In coordination with a brand’s regulatory and quality teams, QTrade works to ensure products meet the expected regulatory label standards, whether Organic, Kosher, Halal, Fair Trade, Rain Forest, or Ethical Tea Partnership certified. QTrade can also ensure exported products are validated to the standards of their destination country.
Some view tea formulation is simply finding a creative fusion of appearance, aroma, and flavor then gently blending it all together. While others see tea formulation is one of the modern era’s most profound collective acts of submission and illusion clouded by a secret society who uses centuries-old palettes of extracts and essential oils to embrace a sensually heightened sensibility.
At Qtrade we like to bring clarity to the formulation process. For us it is all about capturing the platonic gastronomic truth ... using science as our foundation and curiosity as our guiding light, let’s imagine together the future of tea beverages.
At Qtrade tradition and avant-garde are inextricably intertwined. Quality should be more than just meeting or exceeding customer expectations. Quality is never an accident. It is always the result of visionary purpose, sincere effort, and skillful execution. For over 28 years, we have nurtured countless talented craftspeople who have continuously developed new skills, knowledge, techniques and disposition to set rule-breaking trends. It is this forward-thinking spirit that drives us on an unrelenting quests for constant improvement -- the guiding force from which we build our solid foundation of quality. We are the honored recipient of over 120+ accolades at the Global Tea Championship, more awards in more categories than any other competitors in the history of the competition. As we continue to extend the limits of possibility, delivering absolute quality will forever remain our ultimate pursuit.
Safety & Certifications
The safety of our people and products always comes first. We know that food safety is a constant moving target, requiring persistent vigilance and a coordinated effort from our entire team. The reason we are martinets for food safety is simple. It is the one thing our clients care about most.
At Qtrade food safety is our top priority. We are committed to offering our clients tea products made with high industry standards for safety and quality.
We have a culture of continuous improvement. We review our procedures regularly to ensure they meet or exceed the latest legal requirements and industry best practices. Our facility is certified by international industry standards and are audited internally and by third-parties.
Our safety commitments are also extended to our trusted partners. We share our food safety expectations with suppliers across our supply chain, holding them to the same high standards of excellence. We examine credentials, evaluate their production process, and conduct detailed on-site inspections regularly.
We have developed sophisticated SOPs in place for tracing products and raw materials. In an unforeseen event that requires product recalls, we have contingency processes and precautionary measures in place allowing us to take proactive and immediate actions.
Our facility is SQF Level-2 Certified, Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) compliant, USDA Organic Certified, and Fair Trade Certified. We are proud members of the Tea Association of USA, and the Specialty Coffee Association.
Make sourcing your company's competitive advantage by achieving more savings and value for every dollar spent. How can you be more strategic in your sourcing process and generate additional value for your company?
Qtrade Teas and Botanicals has the answer. We are one of the leading providers of strategic tea and botanical sourcing in North America. With 70,000 SF of warehousing space and enduring professional relationships with tea gardens and botanicals farms in all growing regions across the globe, we could help your company source any commercially grown or wild harvested teas and botanicals. Staffed with supply chain specialists, our sourcing team get results fast — real results that improve the bottom line and boost your competitive advantage.
At Qtrade, sourcing is more than just the numbers. And yes, we do the numbers better than most companies. However, we also care deeply about the way our ingredients are produced, and expect the same from our global suppliers.
As a leader in the specialty tea industry, we place great importance in demonstrating good corporate citizenship in everything we do. From day-one, Qtrade believes in the power of specialty tea to connect and be connected. This commitment extends to our suppliers. We aim to create an environment where we can build strong, sustainable, and long-term partnerships, and promote responsible business practices by working with our suppliers across the value chain.
Furthermore, we are not waiting for solutions to protect the planet. We are doing our small part. Conventional tea farming generates countless environmental problems from the over-usage of herbicides and pesticides and leaching these chemicals into the environment. For over 28 years, Manik Jayakumar, the founder of Qtrade, has be advocating and pioneering organic tea farming practices. Qtrade is North America's largest importer of certified organic and certified fair trade specialty teas. Today many of our teas are also Rainforest Alliance certified and Certified Biodynamic. Tomorrow we will be pushing our supply chain even further ... continuing our pioneering spirit. This time in regenerative agriculture.
Regenerative agriculture is farming in harmony with nature. It describes a holistic land management practice that leverage the power of photosynthesis in plants to close the carbon cycle and build soil health, which in turn leads to an improved ecosystem, crop resiliency and nutrient density. Regenerative agriculture give mother nature an extra arsenal in reversing global warming. In the fight against climate change, action matters.
For your next project, contact us to see how we can help you with your tea and botanical sourcing.