Govt. mulls curbs on refuse tea pro­cess­ing

Daily Mirror (Sri Lanka) - - MIRROR BUSINESS -

The gov­ern­ment is con­sid­er­ing re­strict­ing the pro­cess­ing of refuse tea in the coun­try, alarmed by the in­crease in refuse tea quan­ti­ties and ris­ing ac­tiv­i­ties of il­le­gal ex­port rack­ets of refuse tea, which en­dan­ger the Cey­lon Tea brand.

“With con­sul­ta­tions from stake­hold­ers, we are eval­u­at­ing whether we need to con­tinue to process refuse tea,” Plan­ta­tions Min­is­ter Ramesh Pathi­rana said.

He noted that there’s an ev­i­dent in­crease in quan­ti­ties of refuse com­ing out of tea fac­to­ries.

“This has brought down the name of Cey­lon Tea to an un­ac­cept­able level. If we ob­tain good qual­ity leafs and pro­duce good qual­ity tea, the refuse tea quan­tity should come down,” he added.

Mean­while, the SLTB has re­cently sus­pended is­su­ing new li­cences for refuse tea pro­cess­ing.

At end-2017, there were 310 refuse tea pro­cess­ing cen­tres reg­is­tered with the SLTB, with most of them lo­cated in the Gam­pola/ Hat­ton ar­eas.

Fur­ther, the SLTB had also is­sued 7,708 trade per­mits for refuse tea pro­cess­ing, at end-2017.

The scheme for is­su­ing per­mits for refuse tea pro­cess­ing cen­tres was in­tro­duced in 2009. Pro­cess­ing of refuse tea is a pro­ce­dure of ex­tract­ing con­sum­able tea from un-de­na­tured refuse tea.

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