'Tea day' proposal to UN

India's proposal to a United Nations panel on tea on observing an "International Tea Day" has received support from various countries.

By OUR SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT in Guwahati
  • Published 18.10.15
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Guwahati, Oct. 17: India's proposal to a United Nations panel on tea on observing an "International Tea Day" has received support from various countries.

The Food and Agriculture Organisation's (FAO) Inter-governmental Group (IGG) on Tea has agreed to the proposal from India.

This was decided at the inter-session meeting of the group held at Milan expo grounds in Italy on October 15-16.

An official representing the delegation said Tea Board of India chairman Santosh Kumar Sarangi had proposed to the group that an "International Tea Day" should be celebrated every year.

Sarangi, who led the delegation, said observing an international tea day would help generate more interest on different aspects of tea among youngsters to boost consumption of the brew globally.

According to an FAO document last year, there has been an increase in world tea consumption, which was underpinned by the rapid growth in per capita income levels, notably in China, India and other emerging economies.

Growth in demand was particularly marked in China. After a spectacular rise in consumption in the last decade, exceeding an eight per cent annual growth rate, total consumption increased by nine per cent yearly in 2013 to reach 1.6 million tonnes, the largest in the world. In India, consumption expanded by 6.6 per cent in 2013 to reach 1 million tonnes.

The FAO-IGG on tea represents a forum for inter-governmental consultation and exchange on trends in production, consumption, trade and prices of tea, including regular appraisal of the global market situation and short-term outlook.

"The proposal of India was unanimously supported by countries such as Canada, the United States, European Union, Sri Lanka, China, Japan, Kenya, Malawi, which attended the meeting at Milan. "Countries thanked India for proposing the same," the official said.

The date for observing the day has not been decided. It will be done in consultation with member countries. The meeting discussed various issues of the global tea industry ranging from residues, climate change and sustainability.