Tea vet­eran stresses need for dis­ci­plin­ing ex­port sec­tor

Daily Mirror (Sri Lanka) - - LATE CITY -

Tea vet­eran and Dilmah Tea founder Mer­rill J. Fer­nando yes­ter­day re­it­er­ated that the Sri Lanka’s tea ex­port sec­tor is in need of dis­ci­plin­ing and strin­gent qual­ity checks.

Re­fer­ring to the un­tapped po­ten­tial in the coun­try’s tea in­dus­try, Fer­nando said more em­pha­sis is re­quired on value ad­di­tion and pointed out that it is an av­enue Sri Lanka can take ad­van­tage of to boost its for­eign ex­change earn­ings.

“Con­tin­u­ing to ex­port as raw ma­te­ri­als, such as bulk tea is of no worth to us. We lose mil­lions this way while it could be re­tained in the coun­try. Do what Dilmah is do­ing, that is add value to tea,” the in­dus­try leader told the ex­port com­mu­nity at the Pres­i­den­tial Ex­ports Awards, yes­ter­day.

He added that with Sri Lanka be­ing an “ex­cel­lent” sup­plier, it should take mea­sures to pro­tect it­self from be­ing “ex­ploited”.

“Oth­ers are ex­ploit­ing us by im­port­ing our fine tea in bulk, value adding it and re­brand­ing. We can do the same and earn much higher,” stressed Fer­nando. The tea vet­eran, who has been suc­cess­ful in brand­ing Cey­lon Tea as an eth­i­cal prod­uct, as­sured that di­vert­ing the fo­cus to­wards value ad­di­tion would help stream­line tea ex­ports in the next two to three years.

Fur­ther­more he stressed the need for strict guide­lines and mon­i­tor­ing with re­gard to qual­ity of teas ex­ported.

“The dis­ci­pline must be done greatly for the qual­ity, an ele­ment Cey­lon Tea should be known for. Con­sumers around the world know that Cey­lon Tea is the finest; we need to make use of that; con­sumer per­cep­tion is very im­por­tant,” said Fer­nando while shar­ing his suc­cess story.

Mer­rill J. Fer­nando

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Sri Lanka

© PressReader. All rights reserved.