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* Sri Lanka Tea Board introduces new quality certification for the tea industry
Tue, Mar 23, 2010, 09:22 am SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Mar 23, Colombo: The Sri Lanka Tea Board (SLTB) has selected as its collaborator, the Sri Lanka Standards Institution (SLSI) to continue with an appropriate certification scheme for the tea industry.

The SLTB stated that with the termination of the TASL/SGS Certification Programme which came to an end along with the closure of the Plantation Development Project at the end of 2008, the Plantation Industries Ministry passed on to the Board the responsibility of continuing with an appropriate certification scheme for the tea industry.

The Board is currently creating awareness on the importance of the industry obtaining quality certification.

Since the two institutions, the SLTB and the SLSI came under two separate Ministries, the Plantation Industries Ministry, and the Science and Technology Ministry, the collaboration between the two Ministries has received the approval of the Cabinet of Ministers based on a Cabinet decision through a Joint Cabinet Memorandum to launch such a Project.

According to SLTB, although some of the preliminary work such as preparation of manuals and the audit programmes were being done under the TASL/SGS certification scheme most of these documentations had to be updated and edited in such a way to suit the new scheme.

It has also been decided between the SLTB and the SLSI that certain amount of value addition into the previous certification project had to be introduced under the new scheme.

Between the end of 2008 and now, the SLTB and the SLSI have completed all the preliminaries about the operation of the scheme and even training the staff required for advising and auditing the applicants who get enrolled under the scheme.

"At this stage we have called a fair cross section of Chief Executive Officers of the Regional Plantation Companies and also the heads of tea related institutes for an awareness programme for the 24th of March, at the SLTB Auditorium. The details of the Project and how the Project is going to help the industry by way of maintaining standards and also producing tea within the regulatory frame work will be presented by the experts in the sector on this event who will be available for the media to interact with them," the SLTB has stated.

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