Sri Lanka launches ‘ozone friendly’, GI tea logos

May 04, 2011 (LBO) – Sri Lanka has launched new logos for Ceylon tea to protect the island’s best known brand under the Geographical Indicators (GI) international trade regime and promote it as ozone friendly. The 1.5 billion US dollar Ceylon tea industry aims to use the new logos to market the tea as a premium product just like French champagne, Scotch whisky and Basmathi rice and use certification to prevent its misuse.

“Due to the premium price received regularly for Ceylon tea, overseas packers frequently misuse the name by packaging other origin teas as Ceylon tea,” the Sri Lanka Tea Board said in a statement.

It decided to protect the Ceylon tea name and seven major regional tea growing area names as certification marks under the GI of the Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) within the World Trade Organisation regime.

“This important initiative would help prevent counterfeiting and misuse of the term ‘Ceylon tea’ and other regional names of tea growing areas.”

Hasitha De Alwis, Tea Board director of promotion, said Sri Lanka is the only country qualified to use the ‘ozone friendly’ logo for tea after it gave up using Methyl Bromide, an ozone depleting substanc