Sept 19, Colombo: Sri Lanka President Gotabhaya Rajapaksa Friday made an appeal to tea factory owners not to tarnish the reputation of Ceylon Tea brand, which has long been an attractive brand around the world and request them to supply high quality tea to global market.
President Rajapaksa noted that media recently reported instances of adulterating the quality tea by mixing sugar, glucose, sodium bicarbonate and ferrous sulfate and the tea industry has suffered a major setback due to the rejection of such tea in the world market.
He emphasized that the country’s reputation as well as the global demand for Ceylon Tea could not allowed to be harmed in the future.
President Rajapaksa stressed that no room will be left for tea industry to suffer the same fate that the pepper industry had met with.
The President made this observation at a discussion held at the Presidential Secretariat yesterday (18) with small and medium scale tea factory owners and exporters on quality tea production.
The deterioration of the quality of tea has resulted in the decline of its demand from 65% to 45% among the global consumers. The number of tea factories in this country stands at 705. Improper activities have been reported from 45 factories and production has been stopped in 18 among them following investigations, Chairman of Ceylon Tea Board Jayampathi Molligoda said.
Based on intelligence information the Special Task Force of the Police and the Police raid tea factories which produce garbage tea and using harmful chemical components.
No room should be left to hamper the revenue of the country or the tea industry due to substandard tea production. Tea factory owners as well as the exporters should ensure the supply of high quality tea to the world market. “Production of low-quality tea will not be allowed” said the President while giving instructions to officials to close down the factories that do not adhere to this rule.
President also instructed the acting Inspector General of Police to continue to raid such factories after conducting investigations with the assistance of intelligence services.
State Minister Kanaka Herath, Principal Advisor to the President Lalith Weeratunga, secretaries to Cabinet and State Ministries, acting IGP and other officials, tea factory owners and exporters were present during the discussion.