Orthodox tea is made through a traditional process, originally developed by British tea farmers involving labour intensive batch processing.
In Africa where many British farmers fled after Sri Lanka expropriated their farms now produce tea under a flow process better known as crush tea curl, which is necessary to make 'tea bags' which foreign marketers have innovated to brew tea easily.
Some CTC teas are allowed in to produce tea bags but orthodox teas are not allowed in. Exporters who see major brands selling orthodox tea blending and retail packing in third countries wanted imports to come in.
Tea farmers and two export firms, Dilmah and Mabroc, two export firms are opposing the plan saying a 'Ceylon Tea' brand may be harmed.
"The PA is convinced that such a move will tarnish the long established and internationally acclaimed image of Ceylon Tea and it will preclude the use of titles and certifications," the Planters Association said in a statement.
"Apart from the above factors, the likelihood of an adverse impact on demand at the Colombo auctions combined with a foreseeable decline in prices will certainly spell doom to the producers without whom the trade cannot exist."
Exporters have insisted that 'Ceylon Tea' can continue to enjoy its small niche and major blends who are outside the country even now is free to buy from Sri Lanka or any other country.
But global commodities prices are now weakening falling and many large farms are now facing losses partly due to high labour costs.
Sri Lanka's rubber industry has moved out higher into the value chain and rubber is imported in large quantities to make solid rubber tyres for export.