Business Times

Technology boosts green tea production in Sri Lanka

Finlays has invested Rs.65 million as part of diversifying its portfolio to producing Chinese green tea, Finlays CEO Dayan Watawala said. While producing 14 million kilos of black tea the company commenced its production of Chinese green tea in 2008 amounting to 280,000 kilos. Mr. Watawala explained the company’s work during a recent breakfast meeting with the industry held to taste the Finlays green tea at the Hilton, Colombo.

While Sri Lanka is not known for its green tea production, however, it was pointed out that manufacturers have the right advanced technology in place for production of the Chinese green tea variety in the country.
The green tea produced by Finlays however, is not sold at the Colombo Auctions but is sold privately which is then marketed to Russia, Europe, and the Middle East.

Chinese green tea is produced in Sri Lanka, which as a result is more popular as opposed to the Japanese green tea that involves steaming, Mr. Watawala said. Last year, Sri Lanka exported 4 million kilos of green tea with about 15 companies engaged in the production of Japanese and Chinese green tea.

Looking for diversity in its product portfolio, Mr. Watawala said that with the raw material available in Sri Lanka the company decided to convert to green tea production. Currently capacity at the factory is available for the production of 300, 000 kilos of green tea per annum, he said.

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