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, including cultivators and manufacturers, traders, exporters and plantation employees. It performs a wide variety of functions with respect to the industry, namely
Offering advice and assistance to overseas tea buyers and tea brand owners
Offering advice and assistance to tea exporters, traders, manufacturers and cultivators
Defining, protecting and promoting the Ceylon Tea ‘brand’
Defining, protecting and certifying the regional origins of Ceylon tea
Monitoring and controlling the quality and purity of tea exported from Sri Lanka
Promoting the sale and consumption of Ceylon tea worldwide
Compiling and circulating market data and other information about the Sri Lanka tea industry
The functions of the Tea Board are carried out through six divisions. These are
The Head Office in Colombo where the Board sits, and where planning, direction and co-ordination of its functions are carried out. Also located here are the administration, finance and internal-audit departments of the Board, as well as a comprehensive library and resource centre.
The Promotion Division, which promotes the Ceylon Tea ‘brand’ in the international as well as the domestic market, supplementing and supporting the advertising and marketing efforts of name-brand owners, exporters and distributors. This division also provides sales information and market intelligence to the Sri Lankan tea industry and undertakes retail sales and sampling among its other promotional activities. It also manages the Ceylon Tea Museum in Kandy.
The Market Intelligence & Resources Division, which collects, collates, analyzes and disseminates statistical information concerning the market and the industry. The Export Division, which carries out the Board’s regulatory functions with respect to the disposal, warehousing, packaging, exportation and importation of Ceylon tea.
The Tea Commissioner’s Division, which carries out the Board’s regulatory functions with respect to the cultivation, manufacture and quality development of Ceylon tea. This division operates through a network of seven regional offices.
The Tea Tasting Unit, which examines samples provided by traders, exporters and others to ensure their quality meets the standards necessary to qualify them for the famous Lion logo that identifies pure Ceylon tea. The unit is made up of a panel of expert independent tasters.
The Analytical Laboratory, which tests and certifies tea samples in terms of chemical, pesticide and microbial standards. The benchmark standard used by the laboratory is ISO/IEC17025.
This web site describes the activities of the Sri Lanka Tea Board in detail and provides access to much of the information and many of the services it provides. You can access these through the links in the main menu at the top of every other site page. More information is also available through links in the headlines and text on the Home and some of the other pages.