Clipper tea firm to stay in Dorset, new owner Wessanen says

A Dorset-based tea business has been bought by a company which says it might expand the operation.

Clipper, which employs about 90 people at its Beaminster factory, was founded in 1984 by Mike and Lorraine Behme.

The couple left the business in 2008 after selling it to FF&P Private Equity, in a deal reportedly worth almost £30m.

The firm is now owned by Wessanen, which owns brands like Whole Earth, after an undisclosed sum was paid.

'Huge potential'

A spokeswoman for Wessanen said Clipper would continue to be based in Beaminster and there was also a "prospect of growth and investment" in the county.

Patrick Cairns, Wessanen's chief executive in the UK, said there was "huge growth potential" for Clipper domestically and overseas.

"We very much admire what the team at Clipper have achieved and want to build on this, invest in the brand and manufacturing capability," he said.

Clipper was the first tea to be awarded Fairtrade status in 1994 and is available in 50 countries.

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