Sri Lanka’s tea industry remains captive to exploitative colonial culture of farmers, middlemen and marketers, even after 64 years has gone after the country gain independence from British rule, says Merril J. Fernando.
Fernando, who is the founder of the internationally acclaimed DILMAH tea brand which is being made out of pure Ceylon tea, says this situation has occurred owing to the high restrictions faced by local tea producers in exporting their own tea.
Fernando says this also encourages the role of traders who looks for quick profits and continues to remain as suppliers, without investing in creating Sri Lankan brands.
This situation, he says is not good for the long term interests of Ceylon tea.
Commenting on the Chairman’s review of the Ceylon Tea Services PLC’s 2011/2012 annual report Fernando points out that a tea supplier can be easily replaced and that is the bane of Ceylon tea today.
“To change the outlook for tea, immediate measures should be introduced to encourage and incentivize tea producers to actively engage in exporting tea, with special focus on building Sri Lankan brand names”, added the renowned tea producer, who has built the DILMAH brand from scratch.
He is confident that if the country implements a system to link the tea producer with the end users in the supermarket chains, department stores, etc. within three years, the outlook would be different.
If this can be done, Chairman of Ceylon Tea Services PLC believes that other producing countries too will turn to us for direction and guidance.
Article Views: 1,800