Solidaridad facilitates cross-regional collaboration for the tea sector

Sustainability in the tea sector has been developed from a western packer’s perspective so far and producers need to develop an alternative narrative – this time from the perspective of Asia. At an International Tea Expo in Meitan County in China last week, Solidaridad voiced the need to combat the challenges jointly and build synergies through an Asian approach.

Wang Qing of the China Tea Marketing Association and Jayaraman Thangavelu of the United Planters Association of South India sign the Memorandum of Understanding to embark on collaboration in the China-India tea industry.

The International Tea Culture Festival & Expo convened in Meitan County of Guizhou Province last week. As one of the leading tea regions producing over 40,000 tonnes per year, Meitan County has maintained China’s rich tea culture. With over 200 participants, renowned tea industry experts from China, India, Sri Lanka, Australia, Morocco, and Europe gathered in the heartland of China’s tea growing province.

The international tea sourcing conference organized by the China Tea Marketing Association was held in the afternoon of the day-long event. Representatives from United Planters Association of Southern India, Sri Lanka Tea Board, Unilever, Solidaridad and local tea companies shared their perspectives on market trends, developing standards and sustainable sourcing.

The conference emphasized the significance of China and India, together accounting for 80% of production and 70% of consumption of global tea volume.

I see an opportunity for Asian producers like China and India to come together and join hands to protect this ancient tea drink which is rapidly losing ground to carbonated soft drinks and other western beverages. Let us put our best efforts to discuss how the two largest tea producers of the world can work together to develop a new benchmark on sustainability in tea that is based on Asian realities. – Ranjan Circar, International Programme Coordinator – Tea for Solidaridad

Through its ongoing efforts to engage stakeholders in the tea industries in China and India, Solidaridad facilitated the signing ceremony of the Memorandum of Understanding between China Tea Marketing Association and United Planters Association of Southern India. Chairman Wang Qing of the China Tea Marketing Association said in his closing remarks, “Solidaridad has served as a bridge to bring together global cooperation in the tea sector to work towards a sustainable future. We are thankful for all of the opportunities they have given us.” The MOU marked recognition for the need to build closer collaboration in the global tea sector, starting with stakeholders in China and India.