Tea Exporters Association (TEA) Sri Lanka held its 23rd Annual General Meeting on the 9th of September 2022, at the Oak Room, Cinnamon Grand, Colombo. The theme of this year’s event, which is the first in-person AGM of the Association since the pandemic, was “The Challenge of Change”. The Chief Guest at the event was Dr. Ramesh Pathirana, Minister of Plantation Industries, while Niraj De Mel, Chairman of the Sri Lanka Tea Board, was the Guest of Honour.
The keynote address, entitled “The Challenge of Change for Tea” was delivered by Sri Lankan Economist, Social Scientist, and Senior Lecturer at Erasmus University – Rotterdam, International Institute of Social Studies – The Hague, Professor Howard Nicholas.Ganesh Deivanayagam, Chairman of Eswaran Brothers Exports was elected as the new Chairman of the association for the 2022/2023 period. He succeeds Sanjaya Herath who led the association for three years from 2019-2022.Speaking at the event, Minster of Plantation Industries, Dr. Ramesh Pathirana said, “Historically, Sri Lanka produced the highest quantity of tea in 2013. In recent years, China, India, and Kenya have overtaken us so we are 4th in relation to the production quantity, but Ceylon tea is still renowned as the highest quality tea. We looked at the values and by the end of July of this year, production was less than 20 million kilos than we had in 2021. However, our export income has not decreased and we recorded $695 million by the end of July. We will work together and do everything possible to uplift the state of tea production and its market values.”