Sri Lanka launches new tea certification scheme

Mar 25, 2010 (LBO) – Sri Lanka has introduced a quality certification programme for tea exports to ensure cleaner teas are sent to overseas markets, devoid of stones and other contamination now found during pre-export screening, officials said. Random test will be done on products to ensure they conform to the standards after certification is given.

Governments, private sector importers and consumers were increasingly demanding quality certification of food products.

“Buyers demand that you have a quality certification mark to enter their markets,” Seneweera said.

The third party certification given by the SLSI and Tea Board is more stringent that other types of certification as the certification body is independent and not connected with producers.

“We will do tests, inspection, validation and see if the manufacturer can consistently make the product conforming to the standard.” A guarantee of quality was required as food safety standards are becoming increasingly strict in key markets like Europe, Japan and North America, they said.

“Consumers all over the world expect tea as a beverage to be hygienically produced,” said Sri Lanka Tea Board chairman Lalith Hettiarachchi.

The new certification scheme would help