July 10, 2015 (LBO) – Sri Lanka needs to look at higher value additions in tea and the current value additions are not giving the required value addition levels, the head of EDB said.
Bandula Egodage, the chairman of Export Development Board said a whopping 96 percent or 325 million Kilograms of Pure Ceylon Tea leave Sri Lanka to serve eager global buyers while only 4 percent of it is brewed locally.
“Pure Ceylon Tea exports grew by 5.4 percent in 2014. Only 50 percent of tea export revenues came from value added while other 50 percent is from raw tea exports.” Egodage said.
He was addressing a gathering to promote ‘Value Added Tea Exports’ on Friday attended by more than 100 representatives from 60 leading Sri Lankan tea manufacturing and exporting firms.
“In terms of tea export volumes, raw exports are higher at 55 percent while value added exports only 45 percent. This is an issue that needs to be addressed,”
“Though we can see value addition but it does not give us the ‘required value addition’ levels,”
“This is the third biggest export item of Sri Lanka and therefore as exporters and manufacturers it is your call and EDB is here to help you.” Egodage further said.
71.1 million Kilograms of Ceylon Tea was exported by the end of March 2015 at a value of 321 million US dollars.
Ceylon Tea has almost 150 years of history and it is the Sri Lanka’s largest agricultural export commodity to the global market.