ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s Ministry of Plantation Industries has decided to allow private processors to sell so-called ‘refuse tea’ under strict monitoring if they ensure the product is up to standard, the minister Navin Dissanayake said.
About 30 million kilos of black tea produced annually are considered rejects with only corporate tea producers allowed to sell them at the auction as an off-grade, he told a news conference.
“We aim to change the policy and allow private individuals too to sell this tea,” he said.
“It will be under a regulated system and only if they meet the ISO standard can this 30 million kilos can be officially sold,” he said.
Illegal sales of ‘refuse tea’ had been a long-standing problem and could not be regulated but now the government had reached a compromise satisfying both sides – regulators and producers, Dissanayake said.
“The illegal transportation of teas, processing of teas under illegal conditions will not happen because we are going to regulate it and bring it to the market. It’s a win-win situation for both sides.
“The so-called refuse tea will be controlled. It is not going to be an endemic problem as it has been for the last so many years.”
(COLOMBO, Jan 20, 2016)