September 26, 2022 2 min read

Earlier this year when I visited the Bearwell estate, my friend Eranga spoke of how he planned to bring back an old idea to his estate.

In years gone by, Zip lines were a common site on tea estates. The same type of line that, in the UK, is attractive to thrill seekers! They were used to transport leaf from the field to the factory. As motor vehicles became more prevalent, zip lines fell out of favour and trucks were used to transport the leaf.

Since my visit, Eranga has completed his plans and I’ve just received some images of his new zip line in operation. The line connects in from on outlying division that is hard for vehicles to reach. Pluckers who are working in this area have their leaves weighed as usual. The leaf is then carefully placed into sacks and sent down the line straight into the factory.

Sacks of Tea being loaded onto the Zip line

This simple solution from the past is having a big impact on the estate. The leaf arrives at the factory sooner. As many of you know Sri Lanka is going through its own problems with a fuel crisis. The zip line is saving a daily tortuous 90km round trip from factory to field. Avoiding the delays incurred through fuel rationing.

Can you spot the Tea sacks travelling above the Plantation?

A further benefit is the reduced CO2 impact of not sending a truck up there. 

Many of you will wonder how the zip line is powered. Earlier this year we wrote about how Bearwell is powering its factory through its own solar panels. The zip line is powered by this renewable energy source.

The Bearwell estate supplies the leaf for our Breakfast Tea. The Breakfast teas that are in stock now use 100% renewable energy in the blend.

A sip of Breakfast tea is more than just the taste of great tasting tea. 

Arrival at the Factory

 

Stephen McAlister
Stephen McAlister