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 on: May 10, 2010, 03:15:37 AM 
Started by HOCT - Last post by HOCT
Tea export revenue to top US $ 1.5 b this year
Emblems for regional niche brands
Harshini Perera
7 May 2010

Tea export revenue is expected to reach US $ 1.5 billion as a result of the rising trend in tea prices and production.

The improving economic condition and tapping new markets have resulted in an increase of Ceylon tea exports for the first quarter of this year, Sri Lanka Tea Board Chairman Lalith Hettiarachchi told Daily News Business.

He said Sri Lanka Tea Board has encouraged regional tea production. They expect to promote tea internationally going by the region.

“We have already designed emblems for the regions and submitted information to the National Intellectual Property office. Sri Lanka Tea Board is expecting local registration soon and it will be submitted to the World Trade Organization for international registration,” he said.

The Tea Broad Chairman said the classification of tea according to the region of its origin will attract different tastes of the people internationally. The new marketing strategy will increase tea exports further.

 Tea Exports n Targets
 US$ 1.5 billion this year
* 58 percent bulk tea exports
* 42 percent value added tea exports
* 21 new applicants for HACCP

Among Sri Lanka’s exports, 58 percent is bulk while 42 percent is value added tea. He stressed the need to increase value added tea exports.

He said that as a means of promoting value added tea, few more incentives will be given to producers .

“There are more than 700 HACCP certificates issued for industrialists and 21 industrialists have already applied for this year. We can expect an increase in the number of industrialists who will apply for HACCP certification in the future,” he said.

He said the authorities should grant necessary funding to issue the HACCP certification for industrialists. Currently, the SWITCH ASIA project provides necessary funding providing free consultancy for industrialists.

Source: DailyNews.lk http://www.dailynews.lk/2010/05/07/bus02.asp

 on: May 03, 2010, 04:18:02 AM 
Started by HOCT - Last post by HOCT
Low growns still highest tea producer
By Steve A. Morrell
3 May 2010

Tea production has not hit the expected high cropping pattern. However, all is not lost yet. Scheduled rain already had positive impact on crop. Our enquiries gleaned from most elevations and planters confirmed crop was ‘coming in’. Positive indicators will emerge in about five to six weeks. Offerings at the Colombo auctions would have distinct impact that crop increases are unavoidable and cost of production would decrease.

Previous week too crop offered was about 5.5 million kilo. Our contacts in Maskeliya said low cropping patterns would adjust to the expected norm May this year, because tea manufactured now would be offered in Colombo end May, and when that happens exports could register increased revenue through enhanced production.

Although we did not contact Brokers last week expectations are that irrespective of increased crop, prevailing high prices could possibly see further increases.

Brokers said India would withdraw part of their production from their export destinations.

The Indian Rupee strengthened against the dollar, and these sources said India could consume their entire production. Further with the Indian Rupee gaining value at about 13.4 % Looking for over seas markets to sell their tea beverages was now not one for priority consideration.

Expectations are that with India withdrawing part of their tea crop from targeted end users, Sri Lanka could gain. This would need close observation. But who would observer the Indian phenomenon is a question that would need answers..

Additionally from where would leadership come to take advantage of the presented opportunity. are also questions that would need positive responses.

Meanwhile, Chinese exports to the US 2009, was ahead comparing 2008,at 12,135 metric tons Their market share to the US too increased; 2009 exports to the US was 21.53 % An increase from 2008. which was 11, 168 metric tons. According to the Asia Syaka weekly tea market report Chinese exports have increased to about 21 countries.

Countries in the Pacific archipelago, Europe, including The Netherlands, who are more coffee drinkers than tea, Japan, and Russia. To name some are now on the Chinese export market list.

We also need to accentuate health benefits of tea. Ceylon Tea Brokers Tea report said ‘High end Tea became dearer in European markets. These teas commanded prices at about 200 Sterling per kilo.

There were no outstanding selling marks that obtained outstanding prices last week. A few low grown parcels sold at about Rs.1000. per kilo but nothing sensational that deserved special mention.

Next week and first week May will not see heavy crops being harvested.

Last week just about 5.6 million kilos were on offer at the auctions. This week too at the 4th/5th May crop expected to go under the hammer will not exceed 6.3 million kilos.

However, there now seems to be some positive indicators emerging in the marketing sector.

Single garden marks have now formed niche markets in the US. For instance, a leading Broker who preferred anonymity said , it would not be surprising to find a leading Bogowantalawa selling in the US at premium prices. He said Ceylon Tea is still an unique tea and respected world wide in that context.

Reason for its second best demand is that promoters do not have sufficient funds to market their product to capture the US market.

At last week’s auction. Low grown leafy teas appreciated in value. However ex Estates offerings were lower following quality.

Source: Island.lk http://www.island.lk/2010/05/03/business2.html

 on: May 03, 2010, 04:15:54 AM 
Started by HOCT - Last post by HOCT
British envoy visits Ceylon Tea Museum
3 May 2010

Dr. Peter Hayes, the British High Commissioner in Sri Lanka visited the Ceylon Tea Museum in Kandy recently.

The Tea Museum is housed in Hantane tea factory which ceased to manufacture tea nearly two decades ago. Built in 1925, the spacious four storied Hantana tea factory today stands as a proud monument to the success story of Sri Lankan tea industry.  The Ceylon Tea Museum is a project jointly operated by Sri Lanka Tea Board and tea industry stakeholders with the objective of exhibiting memorabilia machinery, documents, pictures and objects of historical value to the Sri Lankan tea industry and to exploit the tourism potential of the industry.

Tea was first introduced to Sri Lanka about150 years ago when the island was under British control, Mr. James Taylor being the pioneer.  Tea is Sri Lanka's main agricultural export commodity and Sri Lanka is the second largest exporter of tea in the world.  Dr. Hayes is a keen follower of the Sir Lanka tea industry as it is reported that his ancestors (Hayes family) owned a tea plantation in southern part of Sri Lanka.  He was pleased to see more than 100 years old tea machinery and objects displayed at the Museum and commended the efforts taken by Sir Lanka Tea Board and industry stakeholders to preserve a valuable part of the Sri Lanka history. Dr. Hayes also stated that he would request and encourage the British Tour operators to Sri Lanka to include Ceylon Tea Museum in their itinerary.

Ceylon Tea Museum is one of the best Museums of its kind in the world.  Although exhibits are not abundant, they do provide a valuable insight in to how tea was manufactured in the early days.  The Museum consists of four floors.  The ground floor & second floor exhibit very old items of machinery.  The third floor consists of a library and an auditorium with facilities for audio visual presentations.  A panoramic view of the Kandy town surrounded by the beautiful Hunnasgirirya, Knuckles range and the Matale range of hills can be viewed through a telescope mounted on the fourth floor.  The tickets are reasonably priced at Rs. 400/- for non residents and Rs. 30/- for residents.  Only Rs. 20/- is charged from students.  Ceylon Tea Museum is open to public from Tuesday to Sunday and is closed on Mondays and Poya Days.

Source: DailyMirror.lk http://www.dailymirror.lk/print/index.php/business/127-local/9597.html

 on: April 27, 2010, 08:44:30 AM 
Started by HOCT - Last post by HOCT
Study: Tea more beneficial for health than water
By Jane Fazackarley
25 April 2010

New research has revealed that drinking tea at least three times a day could be has beneficial for people's health as drinking water. It was previously thought that drinking too much tea had a dehydrating affect but this is not the case, according to a study carried out by the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

The study shows that tea will replenish the body's fluid supplies in the same manner has water and might also have a protective effect against heart disease and some forms of cancer.

The nutritionists who carried out the research credit the flavonoids contained within tea with possessing the beneficial health affects. The antioxidants found in tea and in other foods such as fruit and vegetables are said to play a part in keeping the body's cells healthy.

Doctor Carrie Ruxton is a public health nutritionist at the Kings College based in London. She worked on the study along with a team. They looked at existing evidence and have concluded that drinking up to four cups of tea a day may reduce the possibility of having an heart attack.

The study also showed that drinking tea could have the potential to guard against tooth decay and strengthen bones.
Talking to the BBC, Dr Ruxton said: "Drinking tea is actually better for you than drinking water. Water is essentially replacing fluid. Tea replaces fluids and contains antioxidants so it's got two things going for it."

"Studies on caffeine have found very high doses dehydrate and everyone assumes that caffeine-containing beverages dehydrate. But even if you had a really, really strong cup of tea or coffee, which is quite hard to make, you would still have a net gain of fluid."

Source: DigitalJournal.com http://www.digitaljournal.com/article/291157

 on: April 27, 2010, 08:42:10 AM 
Started by HOCT - Last post by HOCT
Lanka tea output  glitch receding
By Steve A. Morrell
26 April 2010

At long last tea seems to have shed subjugated image relegated to low level performance and now enroute to better crop harvests this year. January returns indicated by the Sri Lanka Tea Board, dated February 19, said crop returns end January recorded nearly 10 million kilos more than last year. Best performers were low growns with crop increases of about 7 million kilos. Higher elevation results were not that good at some 800,000 kilo increase. Medium elevation crop increases too were not impressive, but all told tea seems to have recovered.

About 400,000 small holders purportedly are propping the industry, and support extended by the Ministry of Plantation Industries to this sector through the fertilizer subsidy has had positive impact . .

The worst is yet to come though. February is usually a dry weather month, and this year too irrespective of the global warming ‘whipping boy’, prevailing dry weather will affect production, but perhaps to lesser degree than last year. This too is normal.

Sri Lanka’s prime tea land is at higher elevation and performance levels at upper reaches of Central Hills will need some attention.

The growing trend for green tea production augurs well for selected market choices. So too Cut Twist and Curl, or the familiar metaphor CTC tea. Correlating to such production increases, Brokers have also reported increases in value added exports. These and other plus phenomena are good indicators that tea crop and production are on recovery indicators.

Reports from Central hills are that February crop intakes may be low, but with expected conventional rain mid March, April showers would further augment crop increases. Expectations are that ‘things are looking up’.

Ceylon Tea Brokers through their weekly tea Market report said although export volumes dropped last year better prices sustained good market conditions and regressive conditions did not quite register alarming trends that drastically affected the industry.

Export details were that CIS countries were our biggest importers, followed by UAE and Syria, Iran, Turkey, Jordan, and Kuwait who were also in the upper level importer bracket for Ceylon Tea.

Malawi still remains the plus producer worldwide, Sri Lanka and Kenya were worst affected last year.

Last week about 7.1 million kilos were auctioned. This week too the 7 million mark would not be surpassed. 7.6 million kilos would be on offer this week.

Western quality, late in arrival could have some salutary repercussions on the market, but there was not that degree of excitement this year, because quality weather prevailed only in pockets in some Western holdings.

Market indicators effective January this year were good. January ended on an average price realization of Rs.381. per kilo. Last year the same period was Rs 280. the difference this year being about Rs.100 on the plus side.

The industry has not seen these price increases ever. The question is would there be profits to be made.

Tea factory owners have indicated enthusiastic ‘yes’ responses. We also spoke to two Regional Plantation Company sources who said their profits too would ‘not be too bad’.

All told tea is now in advancing mode .

Source: Island.lk http://www.island.lk/2010/04/26/business3.html

 on: April 27, 2010, 08:40:30 AM 
Started by HOCT - Last post by HOCT
Green tea helps prevent eye disease
24 April 2010

London, April 25 (IANS) Green tea has always been known for its antioxidant effects and disease fighting properties, but now researchers say the benefits could help the eyes.

The report, the first to study how the lens, retina and other eye tissues absorb these substances, suggests that the drink may protect against glaucoma and other common eye diseases, reports telegraph.co.uk.

Writing in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, Chi Pui Pang and colleagues say that 'catechins', a type of antioxidant found in green tea, can pass from the stomach to tissues in the eye.

Catechins include vitamin C, vitamin E and it had not been known whether they could aid vision.

But the researchers at Chinese University of Hong Kong and Hong Kong Eye Hospital, experimenting on rats, found that the rodents given the tea showed their eyes benefiting from the catechins.

The team concluded: 'Our results indicate that green tea consumption could benefit the eye against oxidative stress'.

Source: Sulekha.com http://newshopper.sulekha.com/green-tea-helps-prevent-eye-disease_news_1168873.htm

 on: April 17, 2010, 06:20:29 AM 
Started by HOCT - Last post by HOCT
German researchers find green tea reduces risk of diseases like Alzheimer's
16 April 2010

The substance known as EGCG found in green tea can render poisonous protein deposits, like those that occur in Alzheimer’s disease, harmless. This, according to researchers at the Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine (MDC) who discovered that EGCG binds to fibrous protein deposits and alters them in a way making the poisons harmless to nerve cells.

The research team led by Jan Bieschke and Erich Wanker made the discovery while studying cellular cultures. Harmful protein deposits develop in a multistep process in which various precursors are accumulated through a kind of deformed protein unfolding process. These deposits are poisonous to nerve cells, causing those cells' ultimate destruction. This protein ‘misfolding’ is the cause of many common diseases including Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and Huntington’s.

In their experiments, the MDC researchers introduced toxic protein deposits into cells to form a model for the molecular processes underway in Alzheimer’s. These cells showed a lower metabolism, and their cell walls were less stable – both signs that severe damage was caused by the toxic proteins.

These effects disappeared, however, after treatment of the cells with EGCG (short for Epigallocatechin-3-gallate), and the cells were even able to reduce the toxic protein deposits. For the first time, the researchers were able to explain the mechanism for this inactivation in detail.

A miracle substance that ‘heals’ diseased cells
Alzheimers, a crippling disease that affects the aging could be avoided by drinking green teaAccording to the researchers, the most unique feature of the inactivation is in the process itself – the EGCG does not dissolve the corrupted deposits but rather directly converts them into non-toxic ones. During the process no other smaller fragments of the protein deposits were even able to develop. These fragments are particularly poisonous to nerve cells, contributing to the well-known nervous system diseases.

The research study followed up on the previous research of Wanker’s working group which found that EGCG can prevent the formation of poisonous deposits in advance. This is because the substance directly binds to the unfolded proteins in a very early stage, hindering any disturbance in their unfolding.

In 2006 and 2008, Dagmar Ehrnhöfer and Jan Bieschke were then able to show that EGCG prevented the formation of toxic sediments in models for Huntington’s disease, as well as for Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.

Source: GermanInfo.com http://www.german-info.com/press_shownews.php?pos=Education,_Science__Technology&pid=2453

 on: April 12, 2010, 10:55:32 AM 
Started by HOCT - Last post by HOCT
Have tea, will keep teeth
By Joan Sumpio
12 April 2010

At summer time, one will endlessly look for a refreshing drink. Gone are the days that only fruit juices give that thirst-relief experience. People can now go for a cool refreshing coffee shot while others go for their cold glass or bottle of tea. These days, tea has gotten a lot of attention for its antioxidant contents and its positive effects on health. In some research, tea is being associated to deliver another interesting benefit, helping to improve dental health, that is. According to a study in Japan, drinking one cup of green tea may improve dental health and reduce the risk of loosing teeth by about 20 per cent, and drinking more cups appear to confer additional risk reductions, with five or more cups a day associated with a 23 percent reduction in risk, according to findings from the Ohsaki 2006 Study published in Preventive Medicine.

Being an observational study, the findings do not prove causality, but the link does appear to be biologically plausible as stated by the authors led by Yasushi Koyama from Tohoku University Graduate School of Medicine. Previous studies have reported that catechins found in green tea may inhibit the action of oral bacteria linked to development of periodontal disease. According to some studies, the concentration of tea catechin to deliver the said effect must be more than 100 mg/100 ml. Typically, a preparation of green tea may contain catechin concentrations of 50-150 mg/100 ml; this amount might be sufficient to aid tooth retention.

In the works of scientist, Koyoma, 25,078 participants aged 40 to 64 joined the study. By measuring tooth loss in people with up to 20 teeth still remaining, the researchers calculated that one to two cups of green tea per day was associated with an 18 percent reduction in tooth loss risk. The same reduction was calculated for three to four cups per day, while five or more cups was associated with a 23 percent reduction in risk. If the researchers limited or extended the data for people with less than 10, or up to 25 teeth, the same protective levels of green tea consumption were observed.

Science  has widely looked at green tea, as having direct or indirect positive association to the following health benefits:

For over-all health:
Tea contains antioxidants. Antioxidants can help slow down aging and help your cells to regenerate and repair. Teas of all varieties contain high levels of antioxidant polyphenols that can help keep your body healthier and some studies suggest even ward of some cancers.

Tea has less caffeine than coffee. Tea can provide the pick me up of coffee but without the high levels of caffeine making you less jittery and helping you get to sleep when you want.

Tea helps keep you hydrated. Conventional wisdom held that caffeinated beverages actually dehydrated you more than they hydrated you. Recent research has shown, however, that caffeine doesn’t make a difference unless you consume more than five to six cups at a time.

For Mental Health:
Tea can create a calmer but more alert state of mind. The amino acid L-theanine found in the tea plant alters the attention networks in the brain and can have demonstrable effects on the brain waves. Tea can help you relax and concentrate more fully on tasks.

Tea lowers the chance of having cognitive impairment. Research on Japanese adults who consumed at least two cups of green tea daily found that those individuals had cut their risk of cognitive impairment by half.

Tea lowers stress hormone levels. Black tea has been shown to reduce the effects of a stressful event. Participants in a study experienced a 20 percent drop in cortisol, a stress hormone, after drinking four cups of tea daily for one month.

Tea eases irritability, headaches, nervous tension and insomnia. Red tea, also known as rooibos, has been show to have many relaxing effects that help reduce a wide range of irritations and inflammations on the body.

Tea can cause a temporary increase in short term memory.  Caffeine may give you the boost you need to improve your memory, at least for a few hours.

Source: Mb.com.ph http://www.mb.com.ph/articles/252358/have-tea-will-keep-teeth

 on: April 12, 2010, 09:43:27 AM 
Started by HOCT - Last post by HOCT
Honorary Doctorate conferred on Dan Seevaratnam
by Steve A. Morrell
11 April 2010

Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Watawala Plantations Ltd., Dan Seevaratnam, was conferred an Honorary Doctorate (Honoirs Causa), at the recently concluded Graduation ceremony of the University of Wayamba.

Sixteen planters had earned their Bachelors Degrees in Science in the discipline of Plantation Management. (Bsc Plantation Management) at this Graduation ceremony..

Seevaratnam is well known in the Plantation Industry and that his services have now been acclaimed is a salutary sign that professionalism is been recognized in the plantation industry and would in time auger well for its future.

Having joined the plantations when the industry was in British hands, he successfully moved up in scale and expertise culminating in his present position of CEO in the company he serves.

His standing in the Industry is substantial, and his recent achievement would further cement skills needed for further development.

Source: The Sunday Island  http://www.island.lk/2010/04/11/news10.html

 on: April 12, 2010, 09:40:59 AM 
Started by HOCT - Last post by HOCT
Tea auction: CTCs move up, Blacks decline
By Steve A. Morrell
12 April 2010

Black orthodox teas declined by last week approximately Rs. 20 to Rs.30 per kilo. CTCs picked up increasing in value about Rs30. per kilo. Notable though such declines were, general conditions for CTC (Cut Twist & curl) were yet described buoyant.

Last week too quantities were significantly low at just about 6 million kilos.

Low grown Leafy categories sold well. Although at some 2.6 million kilos, in quantity low elevation tea were in demand.

However, brokers said producers were cautioned that influx of heavy crops expected after the New Year break, harvested leaf should be at acceptable levels. At that time glut conditions would prompt buyers to be selective and those reported at sub standard levels would be discounted.

Last week we reported high priced BOP fetched astronomical prices; but at last weeks auction the same garden mark did not do quite that well. Reasons attributed were end of seasonal teas, and expected general elections. This week too may not be quite that phenomenal.

Noteworthy though it is fact low growns continue to dominate production. As indicated last week low grown production mainly concentrated on effectivity of small holders; the question that now begs tangible answer is how effective are Regional Plantation Companies increasing production.. We already have feedback that cultural practices were observed more in the breach than on time.

Last week we also had discussions with senior personnel connected with the industry, who said under State management land was effectively cultured and such inputs were effected in time. More so replanting programmes adhered to the tea commissioners directives. of 2 % areas in production. Such reminiscences were only historical fact, these sources said. Present RPC re-planting did not exceed 0.50%.

Ceylon Tea Brokers Ltd. said in their weekly tea market report that Kenyan production is billed to rise this year. Kenya already the highest tea producer globally, will further increase production, indicating they have recovered from the 2009 debacle projecting further improvement.

We quoted Tea Board Chairman Lalith Hettiacachchi about two weeks ago that he was optimistic Sri Lankan Tea production would be back on track and this year’s production would surpass 2009 figures. Given present cropping trends in low grown elevations, this would seem possible. But how much would RPCC contribute was left in the balance.

We are aware three Regional Plantation Companies have moved ahead and are making profits. Those few who have moved out of the traditional plantation management cocoon and are proverbially out of the box.

Ceylon Tea is no longer the best in the world. There are others who produce a better cuppa, and importantly, cheaper.

We would look at this aspect of the industry over the next few weeks.

These columns congratulate Dr. Dan Seevaratnam for his achievement on his conferment of an honorary Doctorate from the University of Wayamba.

We carried the full story in our Sunday pages

Source: The Island http://www.island.lk/2010/04/12/business2.html

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