The Rochdale Equitable Pioneers Society got their tea licence in 1845. Tea was a very important commodity at that time. Statistics from between 1882 and 1937 show that the Co-operative Wholesale Society sold millions of lbs of tea. In 1932 the total tea consumption in the UK came close to 500 million lbs and in 1937 CWS tea sales alone peaked at around 80 million lbs sold.
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