Sri Lanka mulls global action against Ceylon tea counterfeits

May 20, 2011 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s Tea Board aims to hire an international agency for global surveillance of the island’s Ceylon tea brand under the ‘Lion’ logo to prevent its misuse and sale of counterfeits, an official said. The planned action comes in the wake of the island launching 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.

“In the past, the Sri Lanka Tea Board has played a defensive role and had been reacting to abuses (of the brand),” said Hasitha De Alwis, the Tea Board’s director of promotion.

“The new tea promotional and marketing committee had decided to be proactive to (protect Ceylon tea’s brand and GI recognition),” he said.

“We intend to assign an international agency to do global surveillance of the ‘Lion’ logo violations and origin counterfeiting.”

The Tea Board and Sri Lankan exporters have long complained about the misuse of the Ceylon tea name and sale of teas from other origins in the guise of pure Ceylon tea.

De Alwis said local registration of the new Ceylon tea GI logos and its planned international registration will increase its protection and discourage m