Sri Lanka Bogawantalawa Tea starts distribution network

Aug 06, 2009 (LBO) – Sri Lankan tea growing and marketing company Bogawantalawa Tea Estates said it has launched its own distribution channel in the local market. Most Sri Lankan tea producers sell their teas through the Colombo auctions but several firms are trying to establish their own brands and sell direct to consumers, cutting out middlemen.

A regional plantations company that made a success of direct marketing earlier is Watawala Plantations, a unit of India’s Tata Tea.

Watawala’s efforts to build its Zesta brand
helped it capture market share and move up from being a mere commodity producer. The company’s Head of Local Marketing Nishantha Rajapakse said in a statement that their previous operations had been confined to a production role and limited distribution through other distributing companies.

The new island-wide distributor network would help increases sales in the domestic market, he said.

Bogawatalawa Tea Estates chief executive Sarath Fernado said the firm manages 14 estates on 8,000 hectares at elevations of 3,000-5,000 feet.

The company also sells tea, including iced teas, in the United States.