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Sri Lanka Tea Board

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.




Divisions and Units

Tea Promotion DivisionTea Commissioner’s DivisionTea Exports SectionAnalytical LaboratoryTea Tasting UnitIT & Statistical Unit
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.

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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.

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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.

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Our Laboratory carried out tests in accordance with accepted International standards or otherwise validated methods to satisfy the needs of the clients who seek test reports on predetermined quality parameters. All activities of Analytical Laboratory complies with the ISO 17025:2005 Standard and the requirements of Sri Lanka Accreditation Board.

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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.

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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.

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Legal Statutory Information

The Sri Lanka Tea Board was established as a fully government-owned statutory institution by Act of Parliament on 1 January 1976. It was formed by amalgamating the Tea Control Department, the Tea Export Commissioner’s Department, the Ceylon Tea Propaganda Board and the Tea Research Institute of Sri Lanka under Sri Lanka Tea Board Law No.14 of 1975

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Ceylon Tea Museum

It was in the Kandy district that the first successful experiments in tea cultivation were made, and it was from this ancient Sinhalese capital that the dominant modern industry of Sri Lanka spread out to cover the entire hill country. Kandy was thus the appropriate choice for a museum dedicated to the history of Ceylon Tea.

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