Sri Lanka was the major Tea exporter in the world market. 21% of the world market belonged to Sri Lanka. But, today countries like India, Kenya, Burma, Argentina and Brazil are invading the Tea market with very fine Teas. Currently, Kenya has become the Chief Supplier in the world market. Sri Lanka has to compete with the other countries in the world market. Due to this trend Sri Lanka has inclined towards the exporting of value added tea. Sri Lanka provides more value to tea more than the other tea producing countries at the auction and within the port. Due to this a higher price is obtained for Sri Lankan Tea.
Herein, Tea is exported as small packets and bags instead of bulk. Sri Lankan Tea receives a higher value more than other competing countries by packeting and bagging. Instead of black Tea, herbal Tea, flavoured Tea and green tea are exported as value added tea.
During the past 10 years a continuous growth has been achieved in the exporting of Tea bags, Instant Tea and green Tea. During the first 10 months of the year 2005, 42% (94 million kilograms) of Tea exports were value added tea and in the year 2004 it was 37%.
For the promotion of the exporting of value added Tea, permission is granted to import flavours, herbal Tea, Green Tea and packing materials under the TIEP 1 duty free scheme. This would be a great facilitation to the growth of the exporting of value added tea.