Sri Lanka Tea Board is hosting the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization’s (FAO) 20th Session of the Inter-Governmental Group (IGG) on tea from January 30 to February 1 in Colombo.
At the 19th session held in May 2010 in New Delhi, Sri Lanka took the opportunity of bidding to host the 20th session in 2012 along with Indonesia and Malawi, according to Tea Board statement.
Through a consensus members unanimously offered Sri Lanka the opportunity, giving the country further recognition in the global tea industry.
“We are proud to be hosting the 20th FAO/IGG session. It is a very prestigious event and this will definitely bring international mileage to Sri Lanka and the heritage of Ceylon tea. Further, this is the first international event for the tea industry in the country after the dawn of peace and therefore it is a great opportunity for us to showcase our products and our country as a whole,” said Janaki Kuruppu, Chairperson of the Sri Lanka Tea Board.
Delegates from over 25 countries will participate in this year’s FAO/IGG sessions. Some of the countries include India, China, Kenya, Indonesia, Bangladesh, Vietnam, Africa, Argentina representing tea producing countries whilst USA, Canada, UK, Pakistan, Russia and UAE will be representing their nation as tea consuming or importing countries.
Speaking of the sessions Hasitha De Alwis, Promotions Director of the Sri Lanka Tea Board said, “It is a very crucial time that we are holding the FAO IGG 20th session in Colombo, a period where the industry is facing many challenges. Sri Lanka is a high cost, high quality producer therefore we are changing our strategy from a production-based model to a more market based model this will allow us to create more visibility on our strategies.”