Tea is serious business in Sri Lanka. Formerly a British colony known as Ceylon, this small Indian Ocean island is famed for producing the finest black tea in the world, grown and produced according to uncompromising, traditional methods and standards. Since the 1880s, Ceylon tea has been the country’s principal and most famous export; for generations, it formed the backbone of the Sri Lankan economy, and plays a major part, even today, in the country’s fortunes.
The Tea Board is the apex regulatory and administrative body of the Sri Lankan tea industry. First set up in 1976, it comprises representatives from both private and government bodies involved in the industry,
Ceylon teas are hand picked to ensure a better selection of green leaf for the manufacture of tea – an expensive and labour intensive process, which greatly influences the final product quality.
Sri Lanka is a bastion of the original Orthodox tea manufacturing process that results in small batch, labour intensive production of a wide variety of leaf style or grades and ensures the best flavour.
The Ceylon Tea Industry is well regulated with a unionized workforce that is governed by a collective labour agreement. Child labour is banned. Workers are provided a comprehensive selection of facilities from housing to healthcare.
Growing and producing Ceylon tea is a tradition and a passion for almost 150 years. Each day about 1.5 million people all over Sri Lanka, from tea pluckers to tea producers, from tea tasters to tea…
Sri Lanka has implemented various measures to comply with environment related international conventions and agreements, including the Montreal Protocol. The usage of methyl bromide as a soil fumigant in the tea sector was halted to comply with Montreal Protocol. By…
Colombo 4th, May 2011–Sri Lanka Tea Board, the apex body looking after the interests of Sri Lanka’s 1.5 billion dollar tea trade, ceremonially launched the new logo of…
Most of the principal functions of the Tea Board are carried out from its head office complex in Colombo 3. All the Board’s principal business units are located here, providing access to nearly all its services at a single location. Also located at this large building complex are the Board’s library and resource centre, as well as a 100-seat auditorium for lectures, seminars and conferences.
The Promotion Division also provides up-to-date market data and information of interest to the industry in the form of a monthly newsletter. You can subscribe to the email version of this newsletter by clicking here.
The Promotion Division is responsible for defining, promoting and protecting the image of Ceylon tea around the world. It also conducts its own domestic and international marketing and promotion activities with respect to the product itself, supplementing and supporting the efforts of Sri Lankan tea exporters and brand owners. The division is the direct successor to the Tea Propaganda Board, an industry association which became active in 1932. This body was incorporated in the present Tea Board when the latter was established in 1976, bringing with it a wealth of experience drawn from nearly eighty years of successful operation. It was the Tea Propaganda Board that originally devised and gained global recognition for the brand identity of Ceylon Tea and established in consumers’ minds the well-known Lion Logo with which it is habitually identified.
The object of this division is to be a single, convenient point of access to comprehensive, reliable and up-to-date of information relevant to everyone involved or interested in the tea industry in Sri Lanka.
The division gathers grower, manufacturer and market information through a wide network of sources. Among these are the Board’s seven regional offices, each representing one of the seven tea-growing ‘districts’ of Sri Lanka, the Colombo and London Tea Auctions, the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce and, of course, the other divisions of the Board itself. Routine information from regional offices is updated in real time via the Board’s internal data network. The division also exchanges information with the International Tea Committee, of which the Sri Lanka Tea Board is an associate member.
The Exports Division regulates and supervises all industry activity connected with disposal of made tea, warehousing, packing, export and import. It lays down the rules to be followed with regard to these activities and also monitors and evaluates compliance in collaboration with the Board’s tea tasting unit and analytical laboratory.
All Ceylon tea must be compliant with the ISO 3720 quality standard; but this is a minimum requirement that is regularly exceeded. The division carries out inspections on overseas-bound tea prior to auction and again prior to shipment.
All regulatory functions connected with the cultivation, manufacture and quality development of tea are the responsibility of the Tea Commissioner’s Division.
Operating through a network of seven regional offices, the division undertakes the registration and certification of Ceylon Tea brands, ensuring that only brands which meet the Board’s stringent quality standards carry the Lion logo.
Together with the analytical laboratory, this unit is responsible for assessing the quality of Ceylon Tea prior to auction or export. Its panel of independent tasters also undertakes, for comparison purposes, the assessment of teas imported into Sri Lanka from elsewhere.
The unit’s imprimatur is essential for any tea, packed or branded anywhere in the world, that carries the Lion logo. Franchise rights to the use of this logo are only awarded to firms whose products meet not only the specific legal requirements of the Lion logo scheme but which also pass the taste test