UBC Farm Sustainabili-tea

The TD Friends of the Environment Foundation rewarded one of our students with a $25,000 grant for her green idea earlier this year.

Queenie Bei, a third-year student in our Global Resource Systems program, and her team received the funds as part of the annual TD Friends of the Environment Foundation’s $100,000 Go Green Challenge, a national competition that invites university and college teams to share proposals and ideas that have a positive environmental impact on communities.

Bei, along with Sauder School of Business student Jessica Cho, were one of only four teams chosen from across the country and the first UBC team to win the nation-wide challenge. Their submission, UBC Farm Sustainabili-Tea, proposed growing and producing herbal teas at UBC Farm.

Originally drafted as part of Kelleen Wiseman’s Small Business Management in Agri-food Industries class (FRE 302), the 20-page winning submission was revised for the competition with the help of LFS Associate Dean, Academic Brent Skura.  The proposal outlined everything from a marketing plan to projected revenue and consisted of an analysis of the current tea industry, the production process of a local herbal tea and addressed the challenges and advantages of a business plan.

Jessica Cho, Mike Pride, Brent Skura, Queenie Bei at the UBC Farm“A local herbal tea enterprise can contribute towards a more sustainable food system,” said Bei, adding that a 363 square foot plot at UBC Farm will be cultivated with plants suitable for growth in our mild west coast climate.

The specialty herbal tea will consist of blends made from dried chamomile, lavender, catnip, lemon balm, calendula and native rose hips and will be sold at two student-run cafes on campus – Agora and Sprouts – and during the summer at the Farm’s weekly Saturday market.

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