Ref: IMD-6-0327

Case study

Reference: IMD-6-0327

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Unilever Tea (A): Revitalizing Lipton's supply chain

Ralf W. Seifert

By Professor Ralf W. SeifertRalf W. Seifert, Tania Braga, Heidi Strebel and Aileen Ionescu-Somers

The case documents Unilever’s journey to revitalize Lipton brand through sourcing all its tea from Rainforest Alliance Certified (TM) farms. It provides a framework for discussions around the challenges of aligning supply chains behind the re-positioning of a high-value brand as sustainable. It also explores the business case for sustainable sourcing of agricultural raw materials and raises questions on the potential to improve the economic health of the entire supply chain.

Learning Objective

  • Understand the business case for major brands to convert to sustainable sourcing.
  • Understand the challenges of aligning suppliers behind a major market transformation effort.
  • Illustrate the dilemmas of adapting to a changing business context while staying on course with long-term objectives.
  • Change the traditional perception of business responsibility in pushing forward the agenda for action on sustainable agriculture and other “mega-issues.”
Keywords Brand Development, Operations Management, Production Management, Sustainability Certification, Sustainable Agriculture, Tea
Settings Global
Type Field Research
Copyright ©2011
Language English
Related material Teaching note, Video
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Reference: IMD-6-0327

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Reference: IMD-6-0327

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