Electronic Trade

September 01, 2007 (LBO) – Millennium IT, one of Sri Lanka’s key software developers, has secured the contract to automate the centuries old tea auction system, an official said. Sri Lanka, which is better known for its high quality aromatic tea known by the country’s previous name Ceylon, is made with tender leafs and buds of the plant botanically known as camellia sinenis. The deal brings together one of the oldest primary commodity exports and the youngest service sector industries of the island.

A mock system has been developed with trial runs going through the teething phase before a possible implementation as early as next year, said Dickie Juriansz, Chairman of Imperial Tea Exports (Pvt) Ltd.

“The whole project will cost us around a million dollars. The systems are still being tested, brokers are being educated and trained how to use computerised bidding as against the current system of shouting out bids at the auction,” said Juriansz, who is also a key member of the main trade body the Ceylon Tea Traders Association.

The current open-outcry or method of shouting out bids, has been used as a platform to sell tea in the country for over a centur