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Sri Lanka to promote tea brand in key markets

Dec 17, 2011 (LBO) - Sri Lanka will register its 'Ceylon tea' brand and seven growing regions in 25 key markets next year, using intellectual property law to protect its main agricultural export, officials said. Registration under the GI law, although costly, provides protection for the trade marks and prevents the names being false used or copied by companies selling teas from other origins as happens now, tea industry officials said.

Sri Lanka will host the Food and Agriculture Organisation inter-governmental group on tea from January 30 to February 01, 2012, and an international tea convention during February 01-03. Sri Lanka Tea Board chairman Susantha Ratnayake said the move is part of an international marketing campaign to be launched in 2012 to promote Ceylon tea using a special promotion levy on exports that has collected a billion rupees since November 2010.

"The scheme was put together in consultation with industry. The Tea Board collects and is the custodian of the money," he told a news conference.

"The whole campaign is totally devised and driven by the private sector. We will have over 50 million dollars over five years.

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Upali Kahandawa, acting director, promotion

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