Sri Lanka Tea Board to monitor export quality closely

Oct 02, 2007 (LBO) – The Sri Lanka Tea Board plans to set up a tea testing laboratory to make sure that chemical residues and impurities do not get into exports, Tea Board chairman Lalith Hettiarachchi said. . The lab will in future handle all the testing done by the Board some of which is now outsourced.

Testing tea is critical to ensure that only teas of the stipulated standard are shipped to overseas buyers and maintain the island’s reputation for quality.

“We analyse and verify the quality of tea since we must maintain certain standards at the export level,” Hettiarachchi said.

Some countries like Japan are insisting on very stringent quality levels, especially for chemical residues in tea.

“These standards are very important to them so we must satisfy them that we keep up to those levels,” Hettiarachchi said.

“So we must satisfy ourselves that exporters are maintaining standards.”

The total investment in the new lab, including buildings and sophisticated testing equipment, would come to around 200 million rupees, Hettiarachchi said.

The Tea Board now tests samples of teas before the Colombo auction, after the auction and also at the point of shipment.

But the