When you’re dealing with tea vendors in China, you are also dealing with a different societal and governmental structure. CNNP is part of that structure. Let’s start with the basics: CNNP stands for “China National Native Produce.” (The full name is “China National Native Produce and Animal By-products Import & Export Corp.”)
Obviously, CNNP is a government-run entity established in 1949, making it the earliest-established foreign trade company in China. For 45 years, CNNP expanded from the base business of tea to other native produce and animal by-products and grew into a world trade organization, importing and exporting goods, but also in commerce, tourism, real estate, transportation, advertising, etc. By 1994 their export volume was a record $480 million, double their volume in the previous year.
Many of CNNP’s holdings, especially tea factories, were privatized, though, starting in 1997. While CNNP still operates today, few factories are state-owned, and CNNP contracts out many productions to privately owned factories.
|Part of Xiaguan Raw Pu-erh Tea Sampler|
Tea factories still running under CNNP include:
- Yunnan Tea Factory
- Kunming Tea Factory, established in 1938
- Ji Xing Tea Factory
- Pu’er Tea Factory
- Xiaguan Tea Factory, established in 1941 (See the teas we have available from there.)
Previous tea factories include:
- Menghai Tea Factory, established 1940 — they previously produced their teas under the zhōngchá label of CNNP, but registered the Dayi brand as their own product in June 1989, and began producing exclusively under this label in 1996. (See the teas we have available from there.)
While there is no doubt that CNNP helped build up the reputation and availability of Chinese teas in the world, they have also been wise to transition and let these tea factories, like young birds leaving the nest, soar on their own. We present both CNNP factory and independent factory teas to our customers, all with a high assurance of quality.