Ceylon Tea poised for record year
by Shirajiv Sirimane
Ceylon Tea is poised for a record year in 2010 with production to
touch 350 metric tons and exports to cross the 320 million Kilogramme
Mark. Sri Lanka anticipates a record Rs. 15 billion from its tea exports
this year. Sri Lanka earned 1.3 billion dollars in export in last year.
Tea production in June this year increased 18 percent, 29.5 million
Kilogrammes compared to the corresponding month last year.
Chairman, Tea Advisory committee, Ministry of Industries Rohantha
Athukorala said that following Economic Development Minister Basil
Rajapaksa’s visit to Japan, tea exports to Japan will be stepped up.
The Ministry of Industry and Commerce has been directed to take on
the responsibility of improving trade with Japan so that it can be
developed to a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) in the near future.” Overall
exports of Ceylon Tea which recorded 26.3 million dollars in 2005 has
reached 42.6 million dollars today and is the seventh key market for Sri
Lanka whilst the export of tea bags has virtually doubled from $5.4
million to 9.5 million in the last couple of years.
The Minister for Industry and Commerce Rishard Bathuideen focusing on
the key export product, tea into the Japanese market held a meeting with
the Tea Advisory Committee of the Ministry where it was identified that
it was imperative that we ensure that Ceylon Tea entering the Japanese
Market must be free of any pesticides.
This would enable Sri Lanka to be within the stringent quality
standards demanded by the Japanese market whilst also ensuring that we
make the best of the ‘Ceylon Speciality Teas’ that was launched recently
in Japan supported strongly by Japanese tea connoisseurs and the
Japanese Tea Association.