Billions brewing for Ceylon tea
By Ravi Ladduwahetty
Ceylon Finance Today: A massive government and private sector effort is about to commence to rescue the crisis-stricken Ceylon Tea industry by pumping billions of rupees into overseas promotions.
This will include a Rs 1 billion Campaign for Brand Promotions and another Rs 3 billion for a Global Promotion Campaign. The Rs 4 billion would be incurred from the Tea Fund, where the exporters have been contributing Rs 3.50 per kilo from every kilo of tea exported.
The global brand promotion is expected to kick off this weekend with the Sri Lanka Tea Board proposing to advertise for companies, who will be inclined to advertise for the promotion of their brands in the international markets, which could go up to Rs 1 billion, Sri Lanka Tea Board Chairman Y.G. Wijeratne told Ceylon FT yesterday.
He said that the arrangement would be for the government to match the amount which will also mean that the Tea Board would inject another Rs 1 billion private sector puts in that amount. He also said that the Tea Board is also awaiting the Cabinet approval for the global promotion campaign which will see that Ceylon Tea will be promoted in 25 countries. This will see local teas being aggressively promoted in the European Union, the USA, China, Japan, the Gulf and Australia as well.
Some of the media in which the promotions will be done in those countries will be through Television Advertisements and the Internet as well.
The targeted expenditure of Rs 4 Billion will be for 2015 which will be from the Rs 4.2 Billion collected from the tea exporters since 2011. There is no cause for worry as there will be the funds which will be collected this year which will be another Rs. 1 Billion, he assured.
Meanwhile the Sri Lanka Tea Board will also get a Rs 709 million monthly Treasury Grant for the payment to tea smallholders for quality tea leaves under three slabs. The best quality which will be 60% unmatured and uncrushed will be paid Rs 80 per kilo while 55-60% quality will be paid Rs 75 per kilo. Quality which is at 45-55 % will be paid Rs. 73 per kilo, he said