Govt. mulls curbs on refuse tea processing
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.