Taiwan raises issues on Ceylon Tea
Just as Sri Lanka had eased its problems of residues in tea with Japan, Taiwan has now raised concerns over the maximum residue levels (MRL) found in Ceylon Tea.
The glyphosate level recommended by Taiwan had been too high, some industry analysts observed noting that the MRL has not been adjusted with the data following some detections made with the shipments.
The issue had arisen about 3-5 months back and the Sri Lanka Tea Board (SLTB) is currently working on the matter.
SLTB Chairman Lucille Wijewardena explained that the glyphosate levels recommended by Taiwan are “very low” at 0.01.
In this respect, “we have decided to check every shipment before sending them to ensure that it is within the accepted levels,” he noted.
Currently it is only Taiwan that had raised concerns and as a result the Tea Research Institute (TRI) has also been asked to revise the MRL level. Taiwan purchases annually around 4 million kg of Ceylon Tea on average.
Sri Lanka sells some of its high end teas to Taiwan and in this regard if one buyer stops purchasing Ceylon Tea it could impact on sales to other buyers in that market as well. Sri Lanka relies on Taiwan and others like Hong Kong, China and Japan to support its liquoring high grown teas which are the primary teas sold to these markets.
Meanwhile, four tea factories have been closed for the adulteration of teas with sugar and in this respect Mr. Wijewardena noted there was a remarkable reduction in the numbers of factories engaged in these scrupulous activities. The factories will remain closed for a period of four months.
Meanwhile, the production figures have indicated an improvement this year compared to last year and the prices of teas at the auctions are said to be improving particularly for the low grown, he said.
It was also pointed out that the promotions carried out in Ukraine had received a very good response as it was noted that most buyers and consumers represented a “fairly sophisticated market.”
Due to the smaller quantity of Ceylon Tea sold to this market there is scope to improve and it is noted that should they enter Europe there could be more gains. The next campaign is set to kick off in China and Japan in the first quarter of next year.