Sri Lanka tea exporters want more money for marketing

Aug 13, 2008 (LBO) – Sri Lankan tea exporters have called for more money to be spent to promote and market Ceylon tea and develop local brands. Tea exporters association chairman Jayantha Keragala said a greater part of the funds collected from the four rupees per kilo tea export cess should be allocated to exporters.

If more money could be given, exporters can increase the shipment of more branded teas and increase foreign exchange earnings, he told a news conference Wednesday.

Tea exports earned 1.2 billion dollars for Sri Lanka in 2007 with Ceylon tea being shipped to more than 145 countries.

“We expect these export earning values to be greater in 2008,” Keragala said. “Tea exporters play a pivotal role in the national economy.

The tea industry provides direct and indirect employment to over 100,000 people.

The tea industry was able to reach these levels of exports and employment having invested more than 600 million dollars in modern machinery, infrastructure and training, Keragala said.

Tea exporters association officials said the government collects around 1.2 billion rupees a year from the export cess and t