• Conflict over water, coal

    SA's leaders have upped their support of the water-intensive coal industry, says Keith Schneider.

  • Cost of doing business

    The world can't afford the $4.7trn a year in environmental costs of business, says Mandi Smallhorne.

  • Voter paralysis

    With so much tilting voters against change, democratic reason is the loser, says Solly Moeng.

All data is delayed
Loading...
See More

Global tea producers set to raise prices

Jan 23 2013 14:47
AFP

Colombo - The price of a cup of tea could rise after the world's biggest producers agreed to join forces to boost profits, a Sri Lankan minister announced Wednesday.

After two days of talks in Colombo between Sri Lanka, India, Kenya, Indonesia, Malawi and Rwanda, which account for more than 50% of global production, the nations announced the formation of the International Tea Producers' Forum.

Sri Lanka's Plantations Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe said exporting nations had been trying to establish a forum for 80 years. "In that context, what we have just achieved is a historic land mark in the tea industry," he said.

Efforts will initially focus on sharing knowledge and boosting demand for tea to raise prices, but he suggested more sophisticated - and controversial - methods such as supply controls would be raised in the future.

Production quotas "are not part of the objectives listed in the constitution, but I am sure these are matters which will be discussed some time in the future," he added.

In 1994, Colombo proposed a tea cartel on the lines of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, the crude oil cartel dominated by Saudi Arabia, but there was no unity among producing nations at the time.

"Price stability is one of the objectives to improve the livelihoods of tea small holders (farmers owning small plots of tea)," he said. "Another objective is to ensure high quality standards."

Samarasinghe explained that unity among producers was "very important from a variety of aspects like foreign exchange earnings, income generation, employment opportunities and several other very useful aspects".

Global tea prices are around $2.5 a kilo, down from about $2.84 a year earlier, while world-wide consumption is set to rise marginally over 1% this year, Sri Lanka tea officials said.

Sri Lanka's tea promotion chief Janaki Kuruppu said prices were much lower compared to other beverages and noted there was room to increase the price of a cup of tea.

"People can pay a little more for tea," Kuruppu said. "In Sri Lanka, tea is cheaper than bottled water."

China and Iran, two of the big consumer nations, have been invited to be observers to the Forum. China is also the world's biggest producer of green tea.

india  |  indonesia  |  sri lanka  |  kenya  |  rwanda  |  malawi  |  tea

 
 
 

Read Fin24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.
 

Company Snapshot

We're talking about:

THE DEBT ISSUE

Debt is one of the biggest financial issues facing South Africans today. Find out how you can avoid and manage your debt with Fin24 and Debt Rescue.
 

Money Clinic

Money Clinic
Do you have a question about your finances? We'll get an expert opinion.
Click here...

Voting Booth

The upcoming petrol price hike is:

Previous results · Suggest a vote

Loading...