Category Archives: Michigan Supply Chain

Michigan Supply Chain Series: Fraser Tea

Fraser tea, based in Livonia MI, is a local tea business operating a global supply chain and offering wonderful custom blends of a variety of organic tea. Tom, Bernard, and John Fraser grew up in a family of eleven – all sharing a common appreciation for tea and the culture that surrounds it. Exploring teas turned from passion to a profession when John, Tom, and Bernard after years of study and experimenting with tea decided they could offer healthier, more flavorful options. Selecting the finest tea, using only organic ingredients and a delivery method to preserve the health benefits of the product was their goal.

ASCM Michigan East Chapter sat down with John Fraser to talk about the company. Believe it or not, the local business has a global reach! The founders travelled the world and created relationships with farmers in Taiwan, Nepal, China, South America, and India. John said, “We had to learn the elements of the supply chain, putting in processes and controls. We learned how to bring ingredients from remote locations to Michigan.” In addition to the international supply base, he mentioned that Fraser sources cherries and blueberries from Michigan. They buy spearmint and peppermint from Washington state, supporting domestic suppliers that compete with similar products from Morocco.

Fraser Tea offers many organic tea blends falling into nine categories, like black, white, herbal, and matcha. Interestingly, they use a compostable, non-GMO sachet. They are proud to share that the sachet, tag, and string are all sugar cane based. It’s a new technology they developed with a South Korean partner. John says the packaging is “borrowed from nature and returned to nature.”

John told us the Fraser team did a fantastic job navigating through the COVID pandemic. The company was still young when the pandemic hit but the founders tapped a few key resources to thoroughly understand this challenging business environment. Operating this supply chain is no joke! Fraser Tea takes pride in finding the world’s best ingredients, bought straight from farms all over the world, and then carefully preserving the integrity of the perishable products all the way to Michigan. The organization learned quickly (from scratch!) and then focused on planning near and long-term horizons to limit pandemic disruptions.

ASCM Michigan East thanks John for the opportunity to learn about Fraser’s supply chain and try their products! We recommend the Poppin Chai Organic Black tea (fantastic bold flavor for operating difficult supply chains) or the intriguing Cream Earl Gray Organic Black Tea.

Credit Fraser’s website for some content in paragraph one.

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Stay tuned for more ASCM Michigan East blog posts exploring Michigan-based supply chains and visit to explore their teas.