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Asian Tribune is published by E-LANKA MEDIA(PVT)Ltd. Vol. 20 No. 114

Sri Lanka in a bid to increase its market share of Tea in Canada

By Walter Jayawardhana

Ottawa, 17 September, (asiantribune.com): Sri Lanka is vigorously trying to increase its market share in tea in North America’s second largest market of Canada by ten percent in the coming year says the Sri Lanka High Commission in Ottawa.

“Within the next one year Ceylon tea imports to Canada can be easily increased from the present level of USD 8 million by ten percent ,” said the Trade Secretary Susiri Kumararatne of the Sri Lanka High Commission of Ottawa in a telephone interview from Tororonto, Canada.

The interview was done on the eve of a two day trade exhibition entitled “Canadian Tea and Coffee Shop” held September 16 and 17 at the Congress Center in Toronto.

About 20 local Canadian importers of Ceylon tea among one hundred and fifty others are taking part in this annual event to promote tea in Canada.

The Sri Lanka Tea Board is running a stall with Ceylon Tea and Company Limited and Mahaveli Trading Incorporated to promote Ceylon Tea and Organic Lanka Incorporated is running a separate stall to promote Sri Lanka’s organic teas to Canada’s health beverages market. The others among the twenty importers are mostly Canadian and US companies who import Ceylon teas with other varieties like English Teas, US teas, Indian teas and Chinese teas.

For Asian teas, Canada is the second largest market in North America after the United States. With the advent of a new wave of health consciousness in North America coffee sales have decreased and tea sales have been rapidly increasing during the past few years. In Canada, during the period of 2002-2006 the value of tea imports have risen from USD 73 million to USD 123 million which is a 68 per cent growth in terms of value imports.

What is important in Canadian imports is 78 percent of the teas bought are in the form of pre-packed or value added teas and only the rest are imported in bulk forms. Kumararatne said this is very important for Ceylon teas since Sri Lanka is concentrating on their pre-packed or value added teas since it helps the island to promote pure Ceylon teas. Unlike in some other countries Canada does not impose more taxes for pre-packed or value added teas, Kumararatne said.

During the last five years, Kumararatne said, Ceylon tea imports to Canada have increased from USD five million to USD eight million.

But the leading importers of tea into Canada are the non-producing countries of Britain and the United States. Among the producing countries Sri Lanka ranks third after China and India.

Kumararatne says the participation of Sri Lanka in this exhibition would pave the way to develop and strengthen contacts with the major operation in the beverages industry to achieve an objective of increasing Sri Lanka’s market share in the rapidly expanding Canada tea market.

- Asian Tribune -

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