THE CELEBRATION OF 150 YEARS OF ‘CEYLON TEA’ IN 2017
THE CELEBRATION OF 150 YEARS OF ‘CEYLON TEA’ IN 2017
The Sri Lanka Tea Board, in collaboration with the Colombo Tea Traders’ Association, is organizing a number of celebratory events to coincide with this Sesquicentennial Anniversary, throughout the year 2017.
THE UNVEILING OF THE JAMES TAYLOR MONUMENT ON JANUARY 19, 2017
The commemorative programme commenced with the unveiling, of a sculptured monument of James Taylor at the Head Office of the Sri Lanka Tea Board on 19th January 2017, by the Hon. Navin Dissanayake, Minister of Plantation Industries, in the presence of Mr Mihindu Kulasooriya, Additional Secretary of the Ministry of Plantation Industries, Mr Rohan Pethiyagoda - Chairman, Sri Lanka Tea Board, Mr Anselm Perera - Chairman, Colombo Tea Traders' Association.
This monument of James Taylor - acknowledged as the "Father of Ceylon Tea" will be an enduring memorial to him and is a fitting tribute for his inestimable contribution to the Tea Industry and the country.
Multi religious ceremony was held to invoke blessings by religious clergies. Representatives from UK High Commission, officials of the Ministry of plantation Industries, Industry stake holders and several dignitaries, including the Tea Board officials graced the occasion.
Hon. Minister also launched the Microsite (website) related to the Celebrations of 150 years of Ceylon Tea.
The commercial cultivation of tea in Ceylon, as Sri Lanka was then known, is acknowledged to have commenced in 1867 at Loolecondera Estate, Hewaheta, in the Kandy District, by an enterprising young agriculturalist, James Taylor, a redoubtable Scotsman, of which extraction were most of the pioneers of the Industry.
Taylor, the son of Michael Taylor and Margaret Moir, was born on March 29, 1835, in a cottage called “Moss Park” on the Monbodde Estate, near Laurencekirk in Kincardineshire, Scotland. On being recruited as a Coffee Planter on Narenghena Estate, he arrived in Ceylon on February 20, 1852. Following a brief posting there, he was transferred to Loolecondera Estate, where he spent the rest of his life and eventually expired on May 2, 1892, at the age of 57 years, of dysentery, while still in service.
With the decline in Coffee in the late 1860s, in 1867, Taylor pioneered the commercial cultivation of Tea on Loolecondera estate. Tea soon replaced Coffee, which was the main cash crop of the island, hitherto, on account of the “plant blight” that devastated the coffee plantations. It was Taylor's fortitude, vision and indefatigability that created this significantly successful agricultural enterprise - The Tea Industry of Ceylon, and it is to him that Ceylon Tea owes its worldwide fame.
As D.M. Forrest in his book ‘A Hundred Years Of Ceylon Tea’ observed, “He was a natural technician. He sometimes spent more money than his proprietors liked, but his roads were the best in the district and, when finished, cost nothing for two years except 5s for a cross-drain. His thatching, too, was good for five years against the normal three.” It was he who first extolled the benefits of ‘finer plucking’, which enhanced the selling price of the made tea and raised the value of the land under tea cultivation, per acre.
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle paid tribute to the indomitable spirit and the profound sacrifices made by the pioneers of the Industry when he wrote, " Not often is it that men have the heart, when their one great industry is withered, to rear up in a few years another as rich to take its place; and the tea fields of Ceylon are as true a monument to courage as is the lion of Waterloo"
Traditionally, Iran has been the 2nd largest outlet for “Ceylon Tea” after the Russian Federation. The stringent economic sanctions imposed on Iran by the West and USA has temporarily shifted the positions of the global buyers but with the imminent possibility of sanctions being lifted sooner than later. Iran would definitely revert to the top. The Low Grown Tippy Teas at the Colombo Auctions are readily purchased by Iran and Ceylon Tea virtually dominates the market with a share of approx. 50%.
As of late, the Food & Drug Authority under the Ministry of Health & Medical Education in Iran has become very concerned and sensitive regarding the protection of their consumers from imported food & beverages. Accordingly, the Iranian Authorities are seeking an undertaking from the state bodies of the tea producing countries on the quality of the final product exported to Iran. To facilitate this requirement, Iran expects a Certification of Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) and Good Hygienic Practices (GHP) which is applied for manufacture and processing of final product for made tea.
The Government of Iran is therefore, requesting a Quality Certificate from all tea suppliers exporting to Iran to consider registration permitting the import. This certification is mandatory and has to be issued by the apex state body of the respective tea producing countries. The issuing of new GMP Certificates and renewal of old GMP Certificates will be considered by Iran only after submission of such document. Hence, the Sri Lanka Tea Board (SLTB) has taken action to commence a process which will enable interested exporters to apply and obtain a quality certificate for submission to Iran. Under this scheme, SLTB involvement will be to issue a third party certification enabling eligibility for GMP from Iran in respect of final tea product ready for shipment after conducting an extensive inspection process in respect of blending, storing and packaging followed by a final product evaluation using sensory analysis and scientific examination guided by national and international standards for tea. The annual surveillance audits up to the renewal of certification after three years, may gain international confidence for Ceylon Tea, another value-addition for Sri Lanka tea industry.
This scheme is entirely voluntary and Sri Lank Tea Board will undertake inspection only on the request of the specific tea exporter and arrange expertise as per a pre-scheduled plan and audit using applicable standards. The enclosed set of documents will describe the procedure followed prior to issuing of certification and thereafter, in awarding the certificates. The scheme provides an internationally recognized third party Quality Assurance Certificate for processed tea in Sri Lanka
GMP Certified Exporters
MEMBERS OF THE SRI LANKA TEA BOAD
- Mr. Lucille Wijewardena,
Sri Lanka Tea Board,
574, Galle Road,
- Ms. W.M.T.D.Wickremasinghe,
Addl. Secretary (Dev)
Ministry of Plantation Industries,
11th Floor, Sethsiripaya,
- Mr. A.M.P.M.B.Atapattu
Department of Development Finance,
Ministry of Finance,
- Mr.Anslem Perera
C/o. Euro Scan Exports Pvt Ltd,
89, Barnes Place,
- Mr.Sunil Poholiyadda
C/o.RPC Plantation Management Services (Pvt) Ltd,
No.310, High Level Road,
Representative of Trade Unions,
- Mr.Yshan Fernando
Chairman - Colombo Brokers' Association,
C/o. Forbes & Walker Ltd,
46/38, Nawam Mawatha
Chairman - Tea Small Holdings Development Authority,
70, Parliament Road,
Mr. Jayantha Karunaratne
Chairman - Tea Exporters Association,
No.50 Nawam Mawatha, Colombo-02.
Actg. Addl Sec.(Admin.)
Ministry of Industry and Commerce
73/1, Galle Road, Colombo - 03.
- Mr.Neville Ratnayake,
Chairman - Sri Lanka Federation of Tea Smallholder
Development Societies, 70, Parliament Road
- Observer -Mr.Anil Perera
Sri Lanka Tea Factory Owners Association,
C/o, Tea Small Holder Factories PLC. 1st Floor,
4 Laden Bastian Road,
- Observer - Mr.H.D.Hemaratne
Consultant, Colombo Tea Traders' Association
- Observer - Mr.Niraj De Mel
482/3A, Wettasinghe Gardens,
Off E.W. Perera Mawatha,
- Member - Mr.B.W.Harrison Silva
No.199/4, Hill Street,
- Observer - Dr.M.M.J.P.Gawarammana,
Tea Research Institute,
- Observer - Mr.Anil Alwis,
Chairman - Sri Lanka Tea Factory Owners Association,
64/12A, Nawala Road,
- Observer - Mr.S.Ajith N.Silva
Dilka, Kandhavihara Road, Kaluwamodara,
Minister of Plantation Industries
|Tele||:||94 - 011- 2314119|
|Fax||:||94 - 011-2388235|
Deputy Minister of Plantation Industries
Hon.Lakshman Wasantha Perera
|Tele||:||94 - 011 - 2302628|
|Fax||:||94 - 011 - 2302630|
574, Galle Road, Colombo 3, Sri Lanka.
P.O.Box 1750, Colombo. Sri Lanka.
Cables: Tea Board, Colombo.
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