Tea has become a different experience in the present context and Sri Lanka needs to change the way it is marketed. A new approach is necessary to capture global market demand where tea becomes a part of a meal, rather than just a beverage, Minister of Plantation Industries, Navin Dissanayake said. The world over, there is a tea culture being created and this presents lots of opportunities for Sri Lanka. As a premium quality tea producing country, we need to aggressively promote our teas, he said at the ‘Ceylon Tea Masters Cup Awards Ceremony’ in Colombo last week.
“This is a significant event for our country. As this highlights the multifaceted nature of the tea industry in Sri Lanka, it is important to focus on the different aspects for the sector to benefit further. “Tea should be made trendier by updating our process practices. This is the future. Tea has to be looked at as a beverage to accompany the meal.
“If we fail to do that we will lose. I am glad that we still have a hard competitive edge. We should make the bang and capitalise on it,” he said.
“Tea Fusions are also now heeded. The whole facet-of the tea industry should be changed. The industry needs the softer skills of marketing. We need to arm ourselves with this.
“We will be launching our global tea campaign in the near future. Social media platforms such as Facebook should be made use of to promote our tea. We produce the best quality tea and the industry does not allow child labour, by law. Though, the country’s tea industry is grappling with many challenges such as losing key markets such as Iran and Pakistan, we need to positively promote Sri Lankan tea globally, he said.
We are happy to see tea tasters and tea mixers coming into the limelight. They are the ones who will take this industry forward, he said.
“Tourism and the tea industry should have a joint promotional effort as both industries could reap far reaching benefits through collaborative campaigns. The two industries could complement each other and progress together to generate more foreign exchange and contribute more towards the national economy,” Minister of Tourism Development, Wildlife and Christian Religious Affairs John Amaratunga said.
“The tourists who visit our country prefer to have a cup of Ceylon tea. We need to encourage them to include tea with their meal. This will create a novel food culture and we could get visitors who are looking for menus which include tea as a main item,” he said.