Pure Ceylon using the country’s colonial-era name is to tea what single malt is to whisky, according to some aficionados, with single-origin Sri Lankan tea costing as much as twice that of a multi-origin tea.
The country has long been a leading exporter of the commodity, but now the Tea Exporters Association (TEA) wants to import leaves from countries like Kenya, Vietnam and Indonesia, and blend them with higher quality local produce.
TEA members, who make up more than 80 percent of Sri Lanka’s tea exports, say the island should harness its local blending expertise and reclaim its role as a tea hub, a position being eroded by competition from Gulf nations. They argue that the high quality and the correspondingly high prices have placed “Pure Ceylon Tea” beyond the reach of the lucrative mass market, even if the industry enjoys an enviable brand reputation.
“We lose out because our tea is too expensive,” says Niraj de Mel, head of TEA. “We don’t have a (cheaper) tea that can compete in the mass market.”De Mel argues that Sri Lanka could almost double its exports of 300 million kilos (660 million pounds) annually by taking a “realistic” view of the world market and blending its tea with cheaper imports.
Sri Lanka does not currently allow tea imports for blending, but in May the official Sri Lanka Tea Board (SLTB) said a panel was investigating options. The nnouncement sparked an intense debate with “purists” and “realists” fighting it out in the press and on social media.
SLTB chief Janaki Kuruppu told AFP that no final decision had been taken and that a balance needed to be stuck.
L’ancienne usine de thé de Dubreuil, connue maintenant comme la Dubreuil National Ripe Black Tea Factory, a officiellement rouvert ses portes hier. La firme chinoise Mauristea Investment Co Ltd, qui est à la base de cette réouverture, compte produire différentes variétés de thé en vue de satisfaire le marché local et international.
3 years, 6 months ago
La production de thé a augmenté de 8,5 %, passant de 6 732 tonnes en 2015 à 7 301 tonnes en 2016. C’est ce qui ressort du dernier rapport de Statistics Mauritius. L’occasion pour Le Défi Quotidien de faire un tour d’horizon sur ce secteur d’activité.
4 years ago