Tea Exporters Association Sri Lanka
Tea Exporters Association (TEA) was established in 1991 by a group of leading tea exporters with a view to look after the interests of one of the main stakeholders of tea industry – the exporters.
However, it was only in 2001 that this body was incorporated and since then has grown from strength to strength. The Tea Exporters’ Association comprises of 53 companies accounting for approximately 87% of Sri Lanka’s Tea export volumes and revenue.
The privatization of the nationalized tea estates in the mid 90s and the rapid increase in the private tea factories in the same decade were the main reasons that encourage the tea exporters to band themselves together under the banner of the T.E.A.
T.E.A. is one of the newer stakeholder entities of the 146 year old tea industry of Sri Lanka.
The importance of the T.E.A. was soon felt by the policymakers and was invited in the year 2001 to serve on the directorate of the Sri Lanka Tea Board. Further with the T.E.A. becoming a force to reckon with was also invited to join the newly formed Tea Association of Sri Lanka (TASL) in 2002.
With the emergence of many complex issues the T.E.A. became more vibrant and is today the “voice” of tea exporters.
Since 2007 it has become a body consulted by HE the President, Treasury, the Ministry of Plantation Industries, Ministry of Industry & Commerce, Export Development Board, Trade Chambers and many other forums. A committee of management comprising of 20 leading and a few smaller tea exporters from the membership are elected every year to drive the affairs of the association headed by a chairman and two vice chairmen. T.E.A. is currently engaged in assisting the Government’s efforts to increase exports towards the goal of US $ 20 billion by 2020 with a tea contribution of US $ 3- 5 billion by that time.
T.E.A. membership is also committed to aggressively promote the leading global brand - Ceylon Tea with its Lion Logo
James Taylor marked the inception of the tea industry in 1867 by initiating the first tea plantation in Kandy. Since then Sri Lanka has been a pioneer in the global tea trade as an indomitable supplier of some of the world’s most expensive and finest teas which have set the benchmark for teas with premium quality produced with rigidly monitored standards. Tea export is one of the country’s main revenue generating trades and the types of tea are divided based on the geography it is cultivated as high-grown, mid-grown and low-grown.
The initiation of TEA has several objectives such as,
- The intention of providing a level playing field in the export trade
- Working towards a situation where all teas produced are compulsorily sold through the approved channel
- Discouraging members from purchasing teas from unauthorised sources
Thus, TEA is committed to ensure that the tea trade remain consistent in its quality and every exporter will have a share of voice while fulfilling the need to regulate the industry. We have recently established a T.E.A. Secretariat and are focussing to actively contribute to the national economic growth on behalf of the entire tea industry comprising of the small holder growers, producers, manufacturers, the factory owners and the brokers.