Sri Lanka tea trade urged to uphold ethical, professional standards

June 23 (LBO) – Two top Sri Lankan tea industry figures have urged the trade to make more efforts to maintain ethical and professional standards to avoid the danger of Ceylon tea earning a bad name. “Although prices have risen in the past two months we cannot be complacent,” he said, noting that forecasts say prices would come down in the future. The call was made at the 113th annual general meeting of the Colombo Tea Traders’ Association (CTTA) on Thursday.

“Deteriorating standards had compelled the trade to tighten by-laws relating to tea auction procedures,” CTTA chairman Tyeab Akbarally said.

Certain members of the trade were trying to resist the imposition of tougher rules and take advantage of their rivals, giving a bad name to what is considered a “gentlemen’s trade”, he said.

Tea Board Chairman Lalith Hettiarachchi, who was chief guest at the AGM, said the industry should not become complacent in its position as one of the world’s top tea exporters.

Although the island’s tea is renowned for its purity and quality, he noted that these are “relative terms”.

Consumers were now demanding more and more stringent standards as they get better educated, Hettiarachchi said,