|“Sri Lanka: The Tea Nation”|
Sri Lanka, Rohan Fernando presented their proposals to President Mahinda
Rajapaksa to support the Government’s efforts to increase exports
toward the goal of US$ 20 billion by 2020 with a tea contribution of US$
3 to 5 billion by that time. He also tabled the current status of the
tea export industry in Sri Lanka at the 14th Annual General Meeting of
the TEA which was held at the Hilton Hotel, Colombo on 15 October 2013.
theme of the AGM was “Sri Lanka: The Tea Nation”.
President Mahinda Rajapaksa graced the occasion as the Chief Guest and
Minister of Plantation Industries Mahinda Samarasinghe as the Guest of
Honour. The Minister said that the country’s tea export revenue needs to
reach US $ 5 billion mark by 2020 to become the top global exporter in
the world. Therefore, Sri Lanka Tea Board drawn strategic plans to
promote the tea market aggressively in order to regain lost markets and
attract new markets.
Chairman TEA Rohan Fernando said that most of local tea brands are
available in most respected chains of supermarkets, supermalls,
hypermarkets, hotels, restaurants, bars and cafes in the world and could
reach the US$ 5 billion target through promotions in new markets and
capture into lost markets.
During the AGM, the official website of the TEA also launched by
President Rajapaksa .
The Tea Exporters’ Association, the leading umbrella organisation which
brings all the tea exporting companies together, plays a vital role in
taking ‘Ceylon Tea’ to the international market.
The TEA was established
in 1991 by a group of leading tea exporters with a view to looking
after the interests of one of the main stakeholders of the tea industry –
the exporters. However, the association really took off in 1999 when a
group of key exporters understood the tremendous potential of the tea
export sector, and decided to give the stakeholders a ‘voice’ among
policymakers. Since then the TEA has grown from strength to strength.
Today, the Tea Exporters’ Association comprises 53 companies accounting
for approximately 87% of Sri Lanka’s tea export volumes and revenue.