Sri Lanka in new campaign to promote tea

Nov 11, 2010 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s tea industry will launch a marketing campaign to promote Ceylon tea next year with funds from a new export tax on exports, a senior Tea Board official said. The levy of 3.50 rupees a kilo that came into effect in November will raise about a billion rupees or 10 million US dollars a year, its director – promotions Hasitha De Alwis said.

The island exports about 300 million kilos of tea, its main export commodity, a year.

The new export tax was mooted because funds from an existing cess, which went to the government Treasury, were no longer being given back to the industry in adequate amounts for tea marketing.

“The new tea promotion and marketing levy will be dedicated for promotion and marketing activities,” De Alwis said.

The industry had been virtually starved of funds for overseas tea marketing in recent years and has been expressing concern especially given heavy promotion by rival origins.

The new export tax will be levied for five years and reviewed after two years to evaluate its effectiveness.

“It is effectively a 50 million US dollar programme stretching for five years with annual revenue of about 10 million dollars,”