THE owner of Dorset-based Clipper Teas is donating food and drink worth more than £70,000 to tackle food poverty and support vulnerable people.

Wessanen, which bought the Beaminster-based tea company in 2012, is also giving to frontline NHS workers.

The company is also offering staff the chance to take time out of work to volunteer for the NHS.

Wessanen UK is working with the charity Fareshare to donate food and drink from its Clipper Teas, Kallo, Whole Earth and Mrs Crimble’s brands.

The packages will go to vulnerable people in 13 areas of the UK including London, Brighton, Birmingham, Cardiff and Glasgow.

It is also donating to five NHS trusts and staff have sent more than 70 food care boxes to friends and family working on the frontline for the NHS. Stock was also donated to an animal sanctuary in Kent.

Emma Vass, chief executive of Wessanen UK, said: “I am immensely proud of our key workers in production at Wessanen UK who are working incredibly hard to keep the country fed and supermarkets well stocked.

“We wanted to go the extra mile to support the most vulnerable and keep our NHS key workers well-nourished in these challenging times. Now more than ever, it’s important that we eat healthily and keep well.”

Staff can take a few hours away from work to volunteer for the NHS, helping by delivering food parcels, transporting elderly people to hospital and back, and offering phone support to vulnerable people in isolation.

Wessanen is part of the B Corp movement – a global scheme for accrediting businesses that balance profit with purpose.

It says it is focused on building a more sustainable economy by helping people make better food choices for their own health and that of the planet.

Clipper Teas was started in 1984 by husband and wife team Lorraine and Mike Brehme and became the UK’s first Faitrade tea brand a decade later.