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Six tea-producing countries team up to boost tea consumption

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Guwahati: Six tea producing countries of the world including India under the Asia Tea Alliance have agreed to join forces to strengthen mutually beneficial ties through information sharing, trade promotion to boost consumption of tea, the improvement of exchanges of technology and others.

Asia Tea Alliance Meet was jointly organized by the Indian Tea Association (ITA) and Solidaridad Asia for the first time in India from November 10-11 at the Indian International Smallholder Tea Producers Conference in Calcutta.

The declaration was jointly launched on November 11 by representatives of India, China, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Sri Lanka and Nepal.

The signatories reiterated that the sustainable development of the tea sector requires collaboration among all stakeholders, including governments, the private sector and NGOs, at national, regional and international levels.

The Asia Tea Alliance forum comprising leading industry bodies from tea producing countries viz. ITA, Tea Board of Sri Lanka, China Tea Marketing Association, Indonesian Tea Marketing Association and Central Tea Association of Japan were established in 2019 and facilitated by Solidaridad Asia, with multiple goals of building mutually beneficial ties through information sharing , trade promotion to stimulate tea consumption, improve technology exchanges, etc.

In view of the pandemic, the Asia Tea Alliance agenda could not progress in 2020 and 2021, but now with the gradual return to normal, the meeting was organized to focus on developing a memorandum of understanding (MoU) between the members of the alliance to achieve the objectives.

Tea growers around the world have faced multiple challenges for decades. Growing impact of climate change, stagnating prices, high costs of labor and other inputs, mismatch between demand and supply leading to oversupply, high transaction costs and the challenges of finding fair prices negatively affect the tea sector socially, economically and environmentally. This further makes it difficult to achieve several Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the global tea sector.

As consumer demand for ethical tea increases, ethical pricing and economic sustainability for tea producers are rarely considered. Instead, tea growers become responsible for achieving metrics around environmental stewardship, increased productivity, traceability and social responsibility – measures that require more labor, of capital and reports.

The first point of the manifesto was to promote national sustainability standards that would strengthen and promote economically viable production and trade of sustainable black and green tea that adheres to national sustainability standards, national laws and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). ) relevant United Nations.

He also spoke of protecting the interests of all tea producers and will undertake joint research and make policy recommendations to protect the economic and commercial interests of small and large tea producing organizations and create a level playing field for producers.

The manifesto focused on combating climate change and the objective was to generate resources to improve education, awareness and human and institutional capacities on climate change mitigation, adaptation, reduction impact and early warning in tea producing countries.

He also referred to the launch of a fair carbon farming program to actively support carbon farming programs in the tea sector and promote a practical and economically feasible carbon verification system that ensures fair payment for ecosystem services. provided by tea producers.

The manifesto advocates for a fair share of value producers in the tea supply chain that can benefit all stakeholders and help improve social and environmental practices in the tea industry while delivering efficiency and quality.

Emphasis has been placed on transparency and traceability to provide technical and operational support to members to make the tea supply chain more transparent through digital solutions, platforms and other sharing solutions to an inclusive agricultural data ecosystem based on open-source and easily accessible technology. to all members who want to participate

The countries agreed to support the increase in consumption of sustainable green and black tea by organizing joint events and increasing consumer awareness.

They also agreed to develop and publish a summary of the Asia Tea Alliance every two years, compiling statistics, research and other information from member countries regarding sustainable tea production and consumption.

Read also | Tea industry needs to modernize and adapt to become viable: Piyush Goyal



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