The purpose of this study was to implement a practical application of the issue addressed in the form of a business model that is a direct response to the question posed in this thesis: In a growth industry, how can the original product maintain its product value and quality when the industry grows beyond it?
This question is posed in the context of the tea industry in Taiwan. As a result, this research is a case study of how to sustain the value, quality, and demand for Traditional Taiwan Tea in the midst of large-scale expansion and exportation of the domestic tea industry. In the last several decades, the tea industry in Taiwan has undergone major transformation, including the homogenization of tea types via the mechanization of processing methods that allow for large-scale production with greater consistency of quality. The modernization of tea production has reduced labor-intensive methods and increased profit margins based on volumes of scale. The negative effects of this transformation have been the threat to specialty traditional products of regional origin as well as the sustainability of the local, pre-existing, privatized industry.
The brand development of Eco-Cha and the establishment of a shareholding company in Taiwan owned and run by foreigners to support a local specialized niche industry is the gap in the knowledge that is addressed in this study. This company was founded to promote sustainable methods of preserving a product of cultural and historical value that is specific to Taiwan.
The limitations of this study are unique in that the research is in the form of an actual business enterprise in progress, and hence no conclusive results are attainable. However, the implementation of a clearly defined business model created by foreign residents and that effectively represents a specialized product of cultural value is perhaps unprecedented. Eco- Cha, Inc. is a foreign-owned Taiwanese company that embodies the mission of sustaining an industry of historical and cultural significance. This research offers a business model that is relevant and resourceful to both local and foreign-based business enterprises.
Key Words: Sustainable; Traditional; Cultural; Business Model; Foreign-owned