Industry experts yesterday noted that there was a pertinent need to patent the ?Ceylon tea? brand name under the reformed intellectual property rights Act of Sri Lanka. It was noted that cheap teas from places like Indonesia and Vietnam are being blended with Ceylon tea or are sold in foreign markets under that brand name.
Ferntea Group Chairman Jayantha Fernando told the Daily FT that ?the government is now pushing exporters to put the lion logo on their packaging. We also have to adhere to certain quality standards to use it.?
Although this was commended as a positive move, he noted that more needs to done to protect the invaluable brand image attached to the ?Ceylon Tea? brand. He also stressed for the need to have a single ministry to handle the tea sector as it is a vital foreign exchange earner. He noted that the plethora of ministries ranging from the plantation ministry to the trade ministry merely create unnecessary bureaucracy and confusion.
Tea crop dips in October
The Sri Lanka Tea Board announced recently that the total reported production of black tea in Sri Lanka during October 2005, amounted to 25,878,758 kg as against 28,343,563 kg, produced during the corresponding month in 2004 reflecting a 8.7% dip.
Despite the dip the cumulative first 10 months tea crop had grown by 4.2% to 265 million kilos over the 254.3 million kilos produced in the corresponding period of 2004.
In addition to the black tea production, 278,331 Kgs of Green teas have been produced during the month under review. The cumulative production of Green teas since January 2005 amounted to 2,013,727 Kgs.