Commodities

For tea consumers, the new brew is ‘sustainablility’

PS Sundar Coonoor | Updated on December 31, 2019 Published on December 31, 2019

The FAO’s Intergovernmental Group (IGG) on Tea has pointed out that major tea consumers around the world are increasingly going in for ‘sustainable sourcing’.

“Modern tea consumers pay attention to health and well-being but that is not all; they seek and pay for environmental, social, economic and ethnic attributes in selecting their tea varieties,” a position paper of the IGG observed.

“This has led to greater importance of sustainability issues in the food and beverage industry, in general, and the tea sector, in particular”, it said. “These concerns for food safety and health as well as social and environmental sustainability have underpinned the need to ensure traceability and quality controls resulting in rapidly rising production levels and certified areas under sustainability standards.”

Globally, tea companies are going in for certifications because of this. “Large companies are stepping up their commitment to social and environmental values, driving up the market share of certified teas. Such certified areas amount to about 16.5 per cent of the total global area,” IGG said.

More companies will go for certification in coming months. “Most industry ‘majors’ are now engaged in sustainable sourcing. Some have committed to reach 100 per cent sustainable-compliance sourcing.

Mainstreaming sustainability is also driven by the desire to address the sector’s exposure to ‘climate change’, inter alia, visible in climate mitigation and adaptation initiatives”, the paper noted.

These issues were deliberated at the last session of IGG.

Published on December 31, 2019
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