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1  NEWS FROM THE WORLD WIDE WEB (GOOGLE ALERTS) / Ceylon Tea / Industry hopes for better second half as tea dips $ 23.1 m in 1Q on: June 04, 2016, 07:15:25 AM
Source - http://www.ft.lk/article/545485/Industry-hopes-for-better-second-half-as-tea-dips---23-1-m-in-1Q

Industry hopes for better second half as tea dips $ 23.1 m in 1Q

Thursday, 2 June 2016 00:00

Iraq emerged as the unlikely top buyer of Ceylon Tea as Sri Lanka’s first quarter tea exports dropped to $311.8 million in 2016 from $334.9 million in 2015 as producers battled with bad weather and volatile markets.

Sri Lanka tea exports for the 1Q of 2016 amounted to 74.45 m kg vis-à-vis 73.21 m kg recorded for the same period last year (+1.24 m kg), said Ceylon Tea Brokers in its latest Tea Industry Overview. The FOB average price per kilo for this period stood at Rs.605.37 marginally lower than Rs.606.37 (-Rs 1.0) YOY for the same period.

“The total revenue realised for 1Q 2016 from tea exports was Rs.45.07 billion ($311.8m) compared with Rs.44.39 billion ($334.9m). The increase of Rs. 0.68 billion is due to currency depreciation, the report observed.

The total Sri Lanka tea production for 1Q 2016 recorded 70.26m kg in comparison to 79.35m kg (-9.09m kg) for the same period last year. Though production has declined by 9.09m kg, exports have increased by 1.24 m kg compared to the same period in 2015.

However, the industry could recover some of its lost momentum in the second half of this year due to shifts in global politics and in oil prices, the prized commodity on which the majority of Sri Lanka’s tea importing countries depend for their economic wellbeing. Oil prices have seen a steady upward momentum in 1Q quarter of this year.

“Iraq has emerged as the largest buyer of Sri Lankan tea, outplacing Russia in the first quarter. Iran has shown a considerable increase in its purchase volume from Sri Lanka. Turkey, the second largest importer of Sri Lanka tea in 2015, has shown a significant decline in its purchases in the first quarter, moving down to the fifth position,” it said.

Russia has marginally increased its imports in the 1Q but is still saddled with sanctions which are dragging its economy on a downward spiral, the report observed. Iraq in spite of political unrest has emerged as the leading tea importer from Sri Lanka.

Whilst countries with dependency on oil exports and internal strife continue to rotate their positions on the top segment of the importer list, countries with economic and political stability remained untapped.

“India is seen forging ahead in its appetite to grab market share and even outplacing Sri Lanka as the market leader in Russia. Unfortunately we seem to struggle to draw up a strategy as a solution to the constantly-changing market dynamics,” the report noted.

The rapid globalisation continues to diminish traditional strengths and create new opportunities; tea trading hubs are being consolidated in Europe and in Dubai.

Sri Lanka’s inability to penetrate into new markets remains a major drawback whilst China, Kenya and India has seen an upturn in their export earning YOY Sri Lanka’s earnings  seems to have reversed. Further continuous dependence on oil exporting countries has led to a reduction in export earnings, the Ceylon Tea Brokers report went on to say.

“It is important that the industry needs to action decisions as well as look at pragmatic solutions to make our presence felt in the constantly and ever expanding global tea industry. Solutions and opportunities are out there but our ability to step out of our comfort zone and create constructive change by facilitating tangible expansion in export markets as well as generating innovative solutions for problems facing the local tea industry are yet to be seen,” it added. - See more at: http://www.ft.lk/article/545485/Industry-hopes-for-better-second-half-as-tea-dips---23-1-m-in-1Q#sthash.Mm8asdVS.dpuf
2  NEWS FROM THE WORLD WIDE WEB (GOOGLE ALERTS) / Ceylon Tea / Sri Lanka's Kelani Valley expands to cinnamon as tea loses shine on: June 04, 2016, 07:09:40 AM
Source - http://www.economynext.com/Sri_Lanka_s_Kelani_Valley_expands_to_spices_growing_as_tea_loses_shine-3-5107.html

Sri Lanka's Kelani Valley expands to cinnamon as tea loses shine
May 27, 2016 18:00 PM GMT+0530 | 0 Comment(s)

ECONOMYNEXT - Kelani Valley Plantations, a unit of Sri Lanka's Hayleys group said it is expanding into cinnamon cultivation as tea and rubber prices fall.

Kelani Valley Chairman Mohan Pandithage told shareholders that the firm had invested 43 million rupees to grow cinnamon in 58 hectares out of which 33 was in Kitulgala.

Kelani Valley was until the mid-1990 state-owned and the sector was a burden to the ordinary people with their taxes being used to pay salaries, until it was privatized.

Along with other privatized planations it started paying lease rentals and taxes to the Treasury.

Pandithage said the company was developing Oliphant Bungalow in Nuwara Eliya into a plantation boutique hotel.

Hayleys Global Beverages (Pvt) Ltd, which will make value added teas for export is expected to start operations in 2016. Pandithage said Mabroc Teas (Pvt) Ltd, a branded tea marketer also made a profit.

The firm was also perusing direct exports of rubber.

Global commodity prices are falling as the US Federal Reserve tightened monetary policy sending the dollar up and pushing down prices of oil, gold, metals and food commodities.

 Countries like Russia, which depend on oil exports, also printed money and saw their currencies collapse.

Countries like Saudi Arabia and UAE which do not follow active monetary policy but mimic US interest rates, have maintained their strongly pegged exchange rates.
(COLOMBO, May 27 2016)
3  NEWS FROM THE WORLD WIDE WEB (GOOGLE ALERTS) / Ceylon Tea / Rains disrupt Sri Lanka tea production, transport on: June 04, 2016, 07:07:28 AM
Source - http://www.economynext.com/Rains_disrupt_Sri_Lanka_tea_production,_transport-3-5023-9.html

Rains disrupt Sri Lanka tea production, transport
May 19, 2016 16:56 PM GMT+0530 | 1 Comment(s)

ECONOMYNEXT – Heavy rains that have triggered earthslips and floods in Sri Lanka have disrupted tea production and transport in the hill country, brokers said.

The bad weather conditions that commenced over the weekend have claimed at least 30 lives and displaced over 200,0000 people, Forbes & Walker Tea Brokers said.

“These conditions have adversely impacted on the crop intake in plantations and hampered the transport of teas due to some of the main roads being impassable due to flooding,” they said.

But they said conditions should improve and the situation back to normal towards the end of the week.

Asia Siyaka Commodities said widespread flooding particularly in the Western, Sabaragamuwa and Southern districts is causing serious disruption to the movement of tea from the plantation to the market and from the market to export.

“This situation is expected to last at least another week,” they said.
(COLOMBO, May 19 2016)
4  NEWS FROM THE WORLD WIDE WEB (GOOGLE ALERTS) / Ceylon Tea / Sri Lanka wants to increase tea sale on: June 04, 2016, 07:04:42 AM
Source - http://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/news/nation/2016/05/176_204783.html

Sri Lanka wants to increase tea sale

By Rachel Lee

Korean tea market has huge potential in the tea industry, Sri Lankan producers say.

Officials from the Sri Lanka Tea Board and four tea companies flew to Korea to promote their products at Seoul Food 2016 at Kintex in Ilsan, Gyeonggi Province on May 10.

Sri Lanka is the world's largest exporter of black tea, with 7 percent of production.

"Coffee has long dominated in Korea, but we see a growing trend among Korean consumers for quality tea, and we want to touch that trend," Sri Lanka Tea Board Market promotion officer Kusalika Thisaranie Vithanage told The Korea Times.

The Sri Lanka Tea Board, established in 1976, is a regulated body that oversees the industry and promotes Sri Lanka's tea globally. To define, protect and certify the regional origins of Ceylon (Sri Lankan) tea, the organization has registered the "Pure Ceylon Tea" Lion logo in more than 100 countries. The logo is used only on packs that originate in Sri Lanka, contain 100 percent pure Ceylon tea and conform to the board's quality standards.

Ninety-four percent of Sri Lanka's tea is exported.

"At the moment, Korea has about 9 percent of our exports, but we expect to see an increase, the promotion officer said.

By region, there are seven types of tea: Nuwara Eliya, Uda Pussellawa, Dimbula, Uva, Kandy, Sabaragamuwa and Ruhuna.

Lumbini Tea, a family-owned business started in 1984, was one of the three companies that came to Korea for the first time. Targeting a niche market of premium tea, the company aims to appeal to Korean buyers with its quality specialty products.

"We have seen an increasing number of Korean tourists to our country over the last few years, so we came here to find out more about the Korean market. I think there is a huge potential for the industry to grow here," said managing director Chaminda Jayawardana.

TeaTalk, which is participating here for the second time, promotes itself as a young, fun trendy brand that suggests various ideas for drinking tea with foods like waffle, Panini and cakes.

Korea is the third-largest importer of Sri Lankan tea, with 13 percent. China is the biggest (30 percent), followed by Taiwan (20 percent).
5  NEWS FROM THE WORLD WIDE WEB (GOOGLE ALERTS) / Ceylon Tea / Tea exports to Pakistan up 47% at Rs 185 cr in FY16 on: June 04, 2016, 06:57:38 AM
Source - http://www.business-standard.com/article/pti-stories/tea-exports-to-pakistan-up-47-at-rs-185-cr-in-fy16-116051200608_1.html

Tea exports to Pakistan up 47% at Rs 185 cr in FY16

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi  May 12, 2016 Last Updated at 15:42 IST

Country's tea export to Pakistan jumped 47.50 per cent to Rs 184.56 crore in 2015-16.

The overall shipments of tea rose 10 per cent to Rs 4,200.46 crore in the same fiscal.

In 2014-15, tea exports to Pakistan had stood at Rs 125.12 crore and the overall exports were at Rs 3,823.64 crore.

In volume terms, outward shipments from India to Pakistan increased to 18.94 million kg in 2015-16 as against 15.20 million kg in the preceding fiscal, according to Tea Board's data.

India is the world's second biggest tea producer and also one of the largest consumers.

The country exports CTC (crush- tear-curl) grade tea to countries like Egypt, the UK, and other traditional varieties to Iraq, Iran and Russia.

The export price to Pakistan increased to Rs 97.44 per kg in the period under review compared with Rs 82.32 a year ago.

The rise in tea exports was seen in major tea-importing countries like the CIS countries, the UK, Germany, Poland, the UAE, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.

Tea production has been low this fiscal mainly due to unfavourable weather conditions. Besides, wage-related issues also hit tea producers.

The sector is also facing other issues including migration of labourers to other industries. Tea plucking in India mainly starts between July and October.
6  NEWS FROM THE WORLD WIDE WEB (GOOGLE ALERTS) / Ceylon Tea / Refuse tea gets slammed hefty fresh fines on: June 04, 2016, 06:54:06 AM
Source - http://www.ft.lk/article/541526/Refuse-tea-gets-slammed-hefty-fresh-fines

Refuse tea gets slammed hefty fresh fines
Thursday, 12 May 2016 00:18

Refuse tea racketeers will soon have to fork out hefty fines that are tenfold higher than previously under a new measure to amend the Tea Control Act approved by Cabinet yesterday.

Under a Cabinet paper submitted by Plantation Industries Minister Navin Dissanayake, the Tea Control Act No.51 of 1957 will be amended to replace the Sinhala term “kasala” tea with the more appropriate term “refuse tea” to enable its easy identification and categorisation for fining purposes.  The amendments will also empower the Minister to take legal action against refuse tea. Under the new regulations, the maximum fine for an offender has increased from Rs.50,000 to Rs.500,000 while the maximum amount charged in compounding of the offence has risen from Rs.10,000 to Rs.500,000.

Sri Lanka’s reputation for exporting the world’s highest quality tea has taken a bashing in recent years due to the growing racket of mixing refuse tea with freshly manufactured tea.Refuse tea is often imported from other countries and mixed with Pure Ceylon Tea or coloured to resemble fresh tea. Large scale racketeers then brand the tea as Pure Ceylon Tea and export it to key tea markets around the world.

In a string of raids over the last three years, the Special Task Force (STF) together with the Sri Lanka Tea Board has detected nearly two million kilos of refuse tea. In May 2015 nine containers containing 162 tons of refuse tea to be exported to the Middle East and Europe as ‘Ceylon Tea’ was seized by Sri Lanka Customs at the Orugodawatte Container Yard.

One of the biggest detections for 2015 was made in November when the STF seized 94,000 kilos of refuse tea to be exported under the label ‘Pure Ceylon Black Tea’ to Iraq and Kuwait. The detection was made in a warehouse in Sapugaskanda. Boxes containing 10 kilos of tea each were ready to be dispatched to the Port.

Last year alone the STF detected 244,375 kilos of refuse tea, with the biggest stock of 115,750 kilos being seized in October. In June, 78,000 kilos of refuse tea was detected, with most being found in a warehouse in Kotahena, according to media reports.

Police had earlier said at least 25 separate groups are engaged in the illegal trade with each container earning an estimated Rs.500,000 in profits to the racketeers.
7  NEWS FROM THE WORLD WIDE WEB (GOOGLE ALERTS) / Ceylon Tea / Sri Lanka March tea output lowest in six years on: June 04, 2016, 06:50:24 AM
Source - http://www.economynext.com/Sri_Lanka_March_tea_output_lowest_in_six_years-3-4942-9.html

Sri Lanka March tea output lowest in six years
May 10, 2016 13:00 PM GMT+0530 | 0 Comment(s)

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s tea production in March 2016, which was down 27.5 percent from a year earlier owing to drought, was the lowest since 2010, brokers said.

March tea output fell by 8.3 million kilos to 22.06 million kilos from 30.4 million kilos in March 2015.

It was the lowest since March 2010, when total production dropped to 21.05 million kilos, Forbes & Walker Tea Brokers said.

“All elevations, High, Medium and Low Growns, have shown a decrease in production.”

Teas grown in low lands, which account for a bulk of the crop, were the worst affected.

Low Grown production fell by 5.4 million kilos to 13.2 million kilos, the lowest since 2010 when Low Grown production dropped to 11.7 million kilos.

Tea output over January-March 2016 was down 9.1 million kilos to 70.2 million kilos from the same 2015 period.
(COLOMBO, May 10 2016)
8  GENERAL / Reminiscing / Estate planter is country’s unsung hero on: February 10, 2011, 04:39:14 AM
Estate planter is country’s unsung hero
For decades, in pre and post-Independence Sri Lanka, tea and rubber have been the country’s main foreign exchange earners. Unlike other industries, more than 85 percent of the raw materials for tea and rubber production are made locally, which means comparatively low costs to the State.
Tea and rubber are highly worker-intensive, involving clear-cut direction and execution for productivity and quality. How is this productivity and quality maintained? It does not happen automatically. It happens through meticulous direction and execution.
It is here that the role of the “planter” comes into full force. The planter combines the energies of men, material and machinery (the “Three M’s”), in the fullest sense. The planter’s management of the Three M’s is what produces Sri Lanka’s wonder beverage – tea, and its high-quality natural rubber.

A planter is the prime contributor to Sri Lanka’s growth. He is a self-starter and motivator. It is he who drives the workforce – to grow, produce and process, and often under very trying conditions.

The planter must have a rigorous and intensive training in field work, cultivation, harvesting, scientific applications (fertilisers, etc.), manufacturing, pay-rolls, and the managing of information systems. A planter is a jack of all trades and a multi-tasker. He is the complete industry man.

He administers an estate with a large resident workforce. He has to look after their welfare, which includes housing, co-operative societies, medical attention and facilities, and so on. A planter has to be a teacher, a school principal, a father, a brother, a technician, a doctor, a co-op manager, a district secretary, a custodian, and finally a leader. He must look after and guide a resident population of a couple of thousand people, most of whom lack a basic education and social status. These are the people who have laboured to give our country a “brand identity”.

Sadly, few in the tea and rubber business appreciate the contribution of the planter. His work includes growing, producing and processing, and also marketing – all buzz-words in the corporate world. These days the talk is of revenue derived from the tea and rubber industries, value addition, and the ethical branding of teas. Our vision is to make Sri Lanka one of the world’s “tea hubs.”

Let us not forget the eminent planters of yesteryear, who served the country at corporate and national levels. People like Ken Balendra, of John Keells, and Cubby Wijethunga, of Nestles, took their companies to ever greater heights. One should not forget the late Ranjan Wijeratne, who spearheaded the move to crush terrorism in the South. Today, Nishantha Wickramasinghe heads the national carrier, Sri Lankan Airlines. All these people were once planters. Our estate workers are the critical factor in Sri Lanka’s tea-rubber success story. Sadly, planters today are not given the credit due to them as drivers of economic growth. This failure to recognise their contribution is especially sad in the light of the country’s rapid development.

I urge all estate planters and estate planter-related bodies to make the planters’ presence felt by the nation. The planters are the people behind the “Sri Lankan brand and identity.”

R. Dahanayake, Former planter
9  SEARCH & RESEARCH QUERIES / Historical research & queries / Re: The Bracegirdle Incident on: January 05, 2011, 05:13:09 AM

Mark Bracegirdle
A polymath who stood against imperialism

Wesley S Muthiah
The Guardian, Friday 16 July 1999 01.28 BST
Article history

In 1936, Mark Bracegirdle, who has died of a stroke aged 86, arrived in Ceylon from Australia, and for seven months worked on the Reluges estate, Madulkelle, as an apprentice tea planter. The workforce was Indian Tamil; their hours were long, their wages low, their living conditions shocking - and they were illiterate.

Bracegirdle was openly sympathetic to the workers. So his employers booked him on a return steamer to Australia; but Bracegirdle would not go. Instead, he joined the Lanka Sama Samaja party (equal society party) and denounced conditions on the plantations.

The governor, Sir Reginald Stubbs, responded by invoking an order-in-council to force Bracegirdle to quit the island. Again, he would not go. So the governor ordered his arrest, pending deportation. A storm of protest ensued and Bracegirdle went underground. In May 1937, he addressed a 50,000-strong protest meeting in Colombo, although soon afterwards the police detained him.

Meanwhile, the state council pointed out that the governor had acted unconstitutionally and the colonial supreme court ruled that Bracegirdle had been illegally detained and must be released.

Thus did he become a key figure in the anti-imperialist movement, focusing attention within the country's educated classes on the need to end colonial rule. The case highlighted such issues as freedom of the individual, the role of the judiciary, the power of the governor and the rights of workers.

Bracegirdle came from a family of artists. His mother, Ina, was a suffragette, who had studied at the Slade school of art and was a member of the Independent Labour party. In 1928 Bracegirdle emigrated to Australia with his mother and brother. He joined the young Communist league in Sydney and during the depression worked on outback sheep farms, where he developed what became a lifelong friendship with Cynthia Reed, who later married the artist Sidney Nolan.

After the conclusion of the Bracegirdle case, he returned to England, and in 1939 married Mary Vinden, a young nurse and member of the Communist party. A wartime conscientious objector, he was involved in clandestine refugee work, helping to smuggle Jewish women out of Berlin. After the war, he qualified as an engineer and settled in Gloucestershire, where he developed friendships with Rutland Boughton, the composer, and Wogan Phillips, later Lord Phillips. A committed Labour party member, he was also an Aldermaston marcher.

In the 1970s, Bracegirdle worked as transport manager for the Zambian flying doctor service. He ended his career lecturing in engineering at North London polytechnic.

Bracegirdle knew about fungi, the history of Chinese script, Darwinism, the history of science, Marxism, Roman glass, ornithology, farming, art, design, aviation, beekeeping, Aboriginal history - and cookery. In retirement, he worked voluntarily for the extra-mural department of archaeology at London university.

His sharp, inquiring mind and sense of humour never deserted him. Days before he died, rendered speechless by a stroke, he was still writing down ideas for inventions, inquiring about the war in Kosovo and checking how his grandchildren had done in their exams.

He leaves three daughters, a son and five grandchildren.

• Mark Anthony Lyster Bracegirdle, anti-colonialist, born September 10, 1912; died June 22, 1999

10  NEWS FROM THE WORLD WIDE WEB (GOOGLE ALERTS) / Tea & Health / Green tea extracts plus vitamin D may boost bone health on: November 04, 2010, 02:53:44 AM
Green tea extracts plus vitamin D may boost bone health
2 November 2010
By Nathan Gray

Related topics: Research, Antioxidants, carotenoids, Vitamins & premixes, Bone & joint health

Combining green tea polyphenols and a form of vitamin D called alfacalcidol may boost bone structure and strength, according to a new study in mice.

The new research in mice suggests that supplementation with either green tea polyphenols or alfacalcidol (1-alpha-OH-vitamin D3) may reverse damage to bones caused by lipopolysaccharide induced chronic inflammation, while combining the ingredients may sustain bone micro-architecture and strength, according to new findings published in The Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry.

According to the authors, led by Dr Chwan-Li Shen from Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, the study also shows that the improvement in bone micro-architecture and quality along with the down-regulation bone TNF-alpha expression mechanism further corroborate the anti-inflammatory role of green tea polyphenols and 1-alpha-OH-vitamin D3 (alfacalcidol) in skeletal health – which may reduce the risk of osteoporosis.

Bone loss

Chronic inflammation has been associated with progression of bone loss and micro- architecture deterioration through oxidative stress and excessive production of pro-inflammatory molecules such as tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha).

Various anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory compounds, such as green tea, alfacalcidol, and soy isoflavones have been suggested suppress TNF-alpha expression.

The researchers noted that certain compounds suggested to inhibit inflammation via suppressing TNF-alpha expression, may have therapeutic value in the prevention and treatment of chronic inflammation-induced bone loss.

In particular green tea (Camellia sinensis), has been suggested to have a wide range of effects on animal and human health due to its anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.

It has been reported in previous studies to have beneficial effects in various inflammatory conditions, such as inflammatory bowel disease, collagen-induced arthritis and lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced gingival inflammation.

The new study investigated the effects of green tea polyphenols and alfacalcidol on bone microstructure and strength along with possible mechanisms in rats with chronic inflammation.

Damage reversal
The researchers reported that both extracted green tea polyphenols and alfacalcidol supplementations reversed LPS-induced changes in bone structure, whilst a combination of both was shown to sustain bone micro-architecture and strength.

In addition green tea polyphenol extract and alfacalcidol were also found to significantly improve femoral strength, and significantly suppress expression of TNF-alpha.

The authors also noted significant interactions in bone mass and strength, the number of bone cells called osteoclasts (cells that break down bone) in leg bone.

The researchers concluded that present study demonstrates that alfacalcidol administration, green tea polyphenol supplementation and a combination of both significantly down-regulated TNF-alpha expression induced by chronic lipopolysaccharide stimulation.

They stated that the protective impact of green tea polyphenols and alfacalcidol in bone micro-architecture during chronic inflammation may be due to the suppression of TNF-alpha.

According to the authors, the study also shows that the improvement in bone micro-architecture and quality along with the down-regulation bone TNF-alpha expression mechanism further corroborate the anti-inflammatory role of green tea polyphenols and 1-alpha-OH-vitamin D3 (alfacalcidol) in skeletal health – which may reduce the risk of osteoporosis.

They noted that such protective effects on bone micro- architceture are consistent with other antioxidants, for example, soy isoflavones or dried plum polyphenols using the same model of bone deterioration.

Shen and colleagues added that future studies “should address the mechanistic profiles to clarify the preventive role of green tea polyphenol and alfacalcidol in process of bone re-modeling [in] chronic inflammation.”

Source: The Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry
Published online ahead of print, doi: 10.1016/j.jnutbio.2010.05.007
“Protective actions of green tea polyphenols and alfacalcidol on bone microstructure in female rats with chronic inflammation”
Authors: C.L. Shen, J.K. Yeh, C. Samathanam, J.J. Cao, B.J. Stoecker, R.Y. Dagda, M.C. Chyu, J.S. Wang

Source: Nutraingredients.com http://www.nutraingredients.com/Research/Green-tea-extracts-plus-vitamin-D-may-boost-bone-health
11  NEWS FROM THE WORLD WIDE WEB (GOOGLE ALERTS) / Ceylon Tea / Regional Plantation Companies show higher productivity on: October 26, 2010, 05:41:31 AM
Regional Plantation Companies show higher productivity
20 October 2010

The Planters Association (PA) says Regional Plantation Companies (RPCs) show consistently high productivity in tea cultivation. In a press statement, the PA noted that based on national statistics, yields and re-planting rates are higher within the RPC sector than the small holdings sector in tea cultivation. This is despite a sharp increase in production costs due to wage increases and difficult weather conditions.

The Sri Lanka Tea Board statistical booklet 2009 shows a yield of 1,762 kgs per hectare, for high grown tea in 2009. A majority of land cultivated for high grown tea (86%) is under RPC control, with RPC tea plantations accounting for 35, 432 hectares, out of the 41,137 hectares, of high grown tea land in the country.

The land management of low grown tea cultivation on the other hand, is the opposite, with small holdings accounting for the majority share. Almost 87% of the low grown tea land area is under small holder management. However, according to the statistics of the Sri Lanka Tea Board for 2009, the yield from low grown tea was 1,576 kgs per hectare, which are lower then the high grown tea yield.

“The data on yields, from high grown and low grown tea cultivations, show that the yield is higher in RPC managed tea lands than in small holdings”, said Mr Roshan Rajadurai, Deputy Chairman of the PA.

However, the PA notes that tea cultivation in the low country has the potential for higher labour productivity than RPC managed estates in the up country.  Small holdings are cultivated as a family owned business venture. This results in small holding families themselves doing some of the work, which keeps labour costs low and also allows for greater interest in gaining higher yields.  Labour, when hired from outside, is paid on the number of kilos of tea plucked by the worker. Since the workers do not get a fixed minimum daily wage, or other benefits such as EPF and ETF, they work harder to maximise their incomes. The PA notes that this combination of hired labour and family ownership should help increase productivity in the low grown tea sector.

 “Low grown tea lands should show higher productivity because they work their own fields. When they hire outside workers, these workers are not paid other benefits. They are paid strictly on how many kilos they pluck. So the workers also work harder to improve their incomes. This is not the case with workers in RPC estates. In RPCs workers are paid a minimum wage and have many other attendant benefits, irrespective of their level of productivity. This situation in low grown areas should also contribute towards higher yields, than from RPCs,” said Mr Rajadurai.

Land productivity is also affected by weather patterns, say the PA. Lowlands are generally seen to have more conducive weather all year round, than high grown tea plantations.

“Low grown areas have better distributed rainfall and better climatic conditions for crop growth throughout the year than lands in high elevation. This is seen in most countries. So again the yield should be higher from the low grown estates compared to the highlands,” said Mr Rajadurai.

More replanting
The PA says replanting rates among RPCs is also higher than among the small holdings, contrary to popular belief. According to statistics from the Ministry of Plantation Industries, from 1995, after privatisation of estates, up to 2008, tea small holdings replanted 6%, or 8,084 hectares, out of their land area. The RPCs on the other hand, replanted 9%, or 7,406 hectares, of tea holdings under their management during the same period. New planting rates on the other hand, are higher in the tea small holding sector with 3,137 hectares of new planting compared to 68 hectares of new planting in RPC tea lands.

“Replanting is highly capital and labour intensive. You need around 4,000 workers to replant one hectare of tea land, for the six years from uprooting to bearing stage.  In addition to the cost of hiring labour, there is also difficulty in sourcing so much labour for replanting, because the estates must also meet the daily labour requirement for important revenue generation activities such as plucking and other important field up keep and processing activities.  The cost of replanting is approximately Rs 2.5 million for a hectare, following the guidelines set by the Tea Research Institute,” said Mr Rajadurai.

The PA maintains that the RPCs are committed towards increasing replanting levels and improving productivity of their estates despite the many drawbacks related to agronomic factors including land suitability and adequacy of recommended planting materials, shortage of labour, adverse impact on National production and quality of Ceylon Tea and most importantly, financial constraints faced by them.

Source: DailyMirror.lk http://www.dailymirror.lk/print/index.php/business/127-local/24732.html
12  NEWS FROM THE WORLD WIDE WEB (GOOGLE ALERTS) / Ceylon Tea / Sri Lanka's tea industry a model to the world - Athukorala on: October 26, 2010, 05:40:17 AM
Sri Lanka's tea industry a model to the world - Athukorala
16 October 2010

At the 2010 Global Tea and Coffee Convention staged in the iconic World Cup horse racing venue of the Jumeirah  Meydan  in Dubai, one of Sri Lanka's sought business speakers Rohantha Athukorala, who holds multiple director positions in the private and public sector, voiced that Sri Lanka's tea industry - just like any other agricultural crop - had to manage many variables, some within the control of the industry whilst some totally outside the realm of authority, but had become a model tea industry to the world with strong industry leadership.

The speaker said that Sri Lanka's tea industry was a lesson to the world on the unique Private-Public-People (PPP) approach where 300 high quality kilograms of tea are produced, commanding a premium price that no other auction has been able to attract.

An effective worldwide distribution network makes Pure Ceylon Tea available to around 130 countries globally, catering to over half a billion people annually, a feat that no other country can boast of, said Athukorala, to a packed audience across the value chain from Rwanda, Kenya, Sri Lanka, India, Vietnam, Indonesia and China.

He then went on to say that the certification of Ceylon Tea, being the only country to be globally certified as being ozone friendly, was an indication of the strong commitment of the Sri Lankan tea industry to global warming, which pegs the country as the tea nation of the world.

Athukorala, who chairs the value added Tea Advisory Committee of the Ministry of Trade and Commerce in Sri Lanka, addressing the global delegates on the current state of the tea industry and future trends globally, commented that tea in general was earning a perception of being a smart and natural health drink and had the potential to increase its global share of throat from the current 27 to 30 billion dollars, provided there was no issue on the supply chain.

He pointed out that excluding China's production last year, the global market was at a shortfall of around 30 million kilograms of tea and this needed to be managed if the tea industry was to be a 30 billion industry globally.

This can only be done if proper agricultural practices are followed around the world with the development of new products globally, he said, adding that the latest was green tea ice cream, which the world had seen in the Japanese market, which was an indication of the closeness to consumers that the industry was striving to achieve.

However, he cautioned the industry of the new trend seen where international supermarket and hypermarket chains are entering emerging markets  targeting the  middle to lower socio economic consumer groups who are in fact upgrading their lifestyle from the general trade to hypermarkets, whereby the retailer becomes a key decision maker in the purchase decision. This is creating a power shift and bargaining power which brand owners must be cognisant of, said Athukorala.

The challenge in this new development is that allocation of shelf space will be based on off take, share of voice on media, share of promotions and credit terms, stock turnover which is a huge shift from traditional relationships that have been practiced over the years, commented Athukorala - which means a new business model needs to be introduced with a strong key account management organisation structure.

A brand owner of today must be ready for a higher entry cost such as paying for shelf space, higher trade margins and lower marketing margins where consumers have a general affinity to retailer - at the expense of the brand owner, said Athukorala, being a brand marketer by profession.

On a broader sense, the speaker asserted that many scientists were researching the various health benefits of tea, including reducing the risks of cancer, whilst specialty teas are a quickly expanding subset of global tea consumption and in fact had outpaced regular tea in countries like Canada whilst in the United States approximately 85% of tea was consumed as iced tea with the competitor being sodas and water; an interesting development on the concept of share of throat, he asserted.

The speaker said that the recessionary and inflationary pressures had led consumers to seek greater value for money but even with the global economic downturn the demand for tea continued, which was a healthy sign given that it had "become a habit that one cannot forego for financial reasons".

"This is the power of tea in the world stage and it is up to the brand marketers to make it a 30 billion dollar industry within the next two years," he added.

Globally tea prices have surged as consumption growth has outpaced the increase in production by 3.4%. In some developing markets like Russia, demand has shifted from more fashionable and expensive drinks to traditional, lower-quality tea that has put pressure to develop new business models like the use of multi origin teas.

On the other hand, in developed countries, gourmet tea has been an "affordable luxury" and sales have remained strong. The 2,600 specialty tearooms in the US are growing; but soft drink consumption is still huge despite some resistance due to association with obesity and diabetes resulting in a decline in usage, said Athukorala.

Sharing some thoughts on the broader beverage market, he said water was moving to a new domain, becoming flavoured and fortified with vitamins, whilst sports drinks are marketed to athletes as energy drinks with massive amounts of sugar and caffeine along with guarana, ginseng and taurine. Then, there are drinks as "energy shots" offering concentrated caffeine and other chemicals to provide instant boosts of energy, which are the new forms of competition with which the world of tea is challenged.

Some of the other speakers featured at this year's conference were Tracy Allen, the CEO of Brewed Behaviour USA, who spoke on 'Unique Value Propositions in the Tea and Coffee Industry,' coffee expert Shawn Hamilton and Anthony Butera - the Director-General of the Rwandan Tea Authority - who gave some finer tips of the Rwandan experience on tea tasting; whilst Koren Thurnbern, the Regional Director Kempinsi Hotels for Middle East and Africa, highlighted on building a business and holding on to people.

Manish Sharma, Director Promotions of the Tea Board of India in UAE, spoke on Indian tea and what sets it apart globally. The conference attracted over 500 delegates from across the world to the iconic World Cup horse racing venue, the Meydan, which is built in the shape of a falcon.

Source: DailyMirror.lk http://www.dailymirror.lk/print/index.php/business/127-local/24380.html
13  NEWS FROM THE WORLD WIDE WEB (GOOGLE ALERTS) / Tea & Health / UK cardiac jobs: Heart disease cut by two cups of tea a day on: October 26, 2010, 05:37:55 AM
UK cardiac jobs: Heart disease cut by two cups of tea a day
14 October 2010

Those looking for UK cardiac jobs have been told of new research which showed that drinking two cups of tea a day can cut heart disease.

Researchers from the School of Medicine and Pharmacology at the University of Western Australia found that green or black versions of the beverage increases the body's intake of health, boosting flavonoids and cutting the danger of heart problems by 11 per cent.

One cup of tea contains 150-200mg of flavonoids, meaning that drinking two cuppas a day is equivalent to eating five portions of vegetables and two apples.

"This new review presents yet more evidence that consumption of tea decreases the risk of cardiovascular disease," said Dr Catherine Hood of the Tea Advisory Panel.

Vera Pinneck, writing for Lonad.com, recently said that green tea has many benefits, having been drunk by the Asian population for at least a thousand years, those looking for UK cardiac jobs have been told.

Source: Mediplacements.com http://www.mediplacements.com/article-800116456-uk_cardiac_jobs%3A_heart_disease.html
14  NEWS FROM THE WORLD WIDE WEB (GOOGLE ALERTS) / Tea & Health / Tea and coffee may reduce brain tumor risk: EPIC Study on: October 26, 2010, 05:35:19 AM
Tea and coffee may reduce brain tumor risk: EPIC Study
By Nathan Gray
19 October 2010

Daily intakes of more than 100 ml of tea or coffee may significantly reduce the risk of certain brain tumors, according to new research published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

The study is based on data from over half a million people in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) study, and finds that people consuming over 100 ml of tea, coffee, or both, per day are at significantly lower risk of glioblastoma tumours (glioma) than those consuming less than 100 ml per day.

“In this large cohort study, we observed an inverse association between total coffee and tea consumption and risk of glioma,” wrote the researchers, led by Dr. Dominique S Michaud from the Department of Epidemiology and Public Health at Imperial College, London.

Poor prognosis
According to the American Brain Tumor Association, glioma's are tumors that start in the supportive tissue brain. The exact causes of gliomas are not known, however the prognosis for people once diagnosed with the type of tumour is usually very poor.

A recent US study found total coffee and tea consumption was inversely associated with risk of glioma, whilst experimental studies have shown caffeine can slow the invasive growth of glioblastoma tumours.

However very few large scale epidemiologic studies have measured the association between coffee, tea, or caffeinated beverages and glioma risk. The authors noted that the results of these studies “have been inconsistent”.

“Given the limited evidence suggesting that coffee and tea intake may reduce the risk of glioma, more studies are needed to address this hypothesis,” stated the researchers.

In the new study, the researchers examined the relation between coffee and tea intake and risk of glioma and meningioma.

A significant inverse association was observed for glioma risk when consuming more than 100 ml coffee and tea per day, compared consuming less than 100 ml per day.

However, the researchers observed no association between coffee, tea, or combined coffee and tea consumption and risk of either type of brain tumor when looking at data based on country-specific intakes.

No association was reported for meningioma risk with the same intake values for coffee and tea intake combined, or when a higher cutoff of 200 ml per day was used.

Potential mechanisms
“Given that we did not observe an association between coffee and tea consumption and meningioma risk, it is possible that the effect of coffee, if causal, is acting late in the process of carcinogenesis by preventing tumor growth,” suggested the researchers.

Another potential mechanism that may be implicated in the observed effects, involves the DNA repair protein MGMT. Higher activation of MGMT is believed to have a protective effect against development of several types of cancer, including colon cancer and glioma.

Coffee compounds kahweol and cafestol have been reported to increase MGMT activity in rats, whilst certain tea polyphenols are known to reactivate genes in cancer cells – including MGMT.

“These findings, if further replicated in other studies, may provide new avenues of research on gliomas,” they added.

Source: American Journal of Clinical Nutrition

Published online ahead of print, doi:

“Coffee and tea intake and risk of brain tumors in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) cohort study”

Authors: D.S Michaud, V. Gallo, B. Schlehofer, A. Tjønneland, A. Olsen, K. Overvad, et al.

Source: NutraIngredients-usa.com http://www.nutraingredients-usa.com/Research/Tea-and-coffee-may-reduce-brain-tumor-risk-EPIC-Study
15  NEWS FROM THE WORLD WIDE WEB (GOOGLE ALERTS) / Tea & Health / More Studies on Tea Health Benefits Backed on: October 26, 2010, 05:33:01 AM
More Studies on Tea Health Benefits Backed
By Gabriel s. Mabutas
21October 2010

MANILA, Philippines – The Food and Nutrition Research Institute Thursday recommended further studies on the health benefits of tea amid conflicting research as to whether it could indeed reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases and stroke, as well as reduce weight with its anti-oxidant properties which are helpful in cardiovascular health.

This, even as it admitted that tea is the main source of flavonoids in the diet, which is also present in apples, grapes, wines and cocoas. Most of the health benefits of tea are attributed to flavonoids.

All true teas, according to the institute, come from the same plant, Camellia sinensis, ranging from green, oolong, white, black, rooibos tea, red tea and herbal tea infusions.

“The main difference is in the way the tea leaves are processed but all tea brews are full of natural goodness and health benefits,” it added.

Citing the lecture delivered by Dr. Jan Rycroft in a seminar on the “Bioactive Components of Tea and their Health Benefits” FNRI noted that an average 200 milliliter (mL) cup of green tea contains 120 milligrams (mg) of flavonoids while an average 300 mL cup of black tea contains 130mg.

Rycroft, category nutritionist of Unilever, presented different studies on the relationships of tea and flavonoids to different nutritional and health factors, such as antioxidant properties which are helpful in cardiovascular health, weight management and mental performance.

A dietary antioxidant is a substance in foods that significantly decreases the adverse effects of reactive oxygen and nitrogen species on the normal physiological function in humans.

In an experiment presented by Dr. Rycroft regarding flavonoids as antioxidants, however, results showed that bioavailability is low and flavonoids are modified upon absorption without indications of reduced damage in vivo.

Flavonoids have no proof for protection against free radical damage in the cells.

This study was supported by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) Panel on Diabetic Products, Nutrition and Allergies in 2010, which reported that a cause and effect relationship has not been established between the consumption of tea and the protection of body cells and molecules such as DNA, proteins and lipids from oxidative damage.

“According to various studies on cardiovascular health though, tea, in general, is associated with reduced risk of cardiovascular diseases, specifically lowering the risk of myocardial infarction, stroke and ischemic heart disease,” the FNRI noted.

They claimed, it said, that consumption of two to three cups of black or green tea per day improves blood vessel function.

“Tea consumption can help in weight management program, according to a number of Asian studies that found a reduction of visceral fat after consumption of high catechin green tea for 12 weeks. It was also shown that high catechin green tea increases fat oxidation,” the FNRI said.

L-theanine, on the other hand, is an amino acid naturally exclusive from tea that is responsible for the production of alpha waves in the brain which has a calming effect on the body and gives the balance of deep relaxation and mental alertness, according to Dr. Edgardo Tolentino of the Makati Medical Center.

A typical 200mL serving of black tea contains 4.5 – 22.5mg of L-theanine.

Source: Mb.com.ph http://www.mb.com.ph/articles/283439/more-studies-tea-health-benefits-backed
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