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James Forbes born on the 20th of November 1851 arrived in Ceylon between 1875 and 1876. He was trained as a tea taster in the office of Gow Wilson & Co. London. On his arrival in Ceylon he became an Assistant at Somerville & Co. in 1878 and a salaried partner in 1881. It is believed that he left as a result of a dispute. He then together with George Chapman Walker formed Forbes & Walker Limited.





It is believed that though the partnership was formed between June and July 1881, the business was properly established on the 1st of August 1881. This can be proven by the fact that the original cash book of Forbes & Walker shows brokerage for the period 1st August 1881 to 31st July 1882.

James Forbes being the first qualified tea taster to start up as a broker laid the foundation stone to a


tea broking business in Ceylon. Forbes & Walker was able to build up and develop one of the largest tea broking businesses in the island, which is maintained to this day, thanks very largely to the eminent men who followed in the founders wake as qualified and trained experts and tasters.

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In 1994, Forbes & Walker Tea Brokers (Pvt) Ltd., was incorporated with a view to carry on the business of tea broking. Since then the Board of Directors have been responsible for the operation and management of the company.

The company is moving into the new millenium with a mission through efficiency, integrity and credibility to be the most professionally managed tea broking company.