Bangladesh tea prices rise for seventh week

Dhaka (Reuters): Tea prices in Bangladesh rose at the weekly auction for the seventh time in a row due to strong demand for quality leaves amid tight supplies.

 

Bangladeshi tea fetched an average price of 229.72 taka ($ 2.79) per kg at the auction last week compared with 229.62 taka at the previous sale, the National Brokers said. There was strong demand and buyers were ready to pay premiums while supplies were lower than in the last sale, it said.

 

About 10.4% of the 2.36 million kg offered at the sole auction centre in Chittagong remained unsold. In the previous auction, 12.8% of the 2.78 million kg on offer was unsold.

 

Bangladesh’s tea production rose nearly 27% last year to a record 85 million kg, a harvest that was seen as big enough to make imports unnecessary.

 

The South Asian country was the world’s fifth-largest tea exporter in the 1990s, but is now a net importer due to a surge in domestic consumption.

 

Daily FT, 16th October 2017.

Court Lodge and new Hopewell Estate achieve all time records whilst Alma surpasses own record

Court Lodge Estate

Court Lodge Estate achieved an all time record price of Rs. 800 per kg for a BOPF grade in the Nuwara Eliya category. This line of tea was purchased by M/s., Dilmah Ceylon Tea Company PLC. 

Court Lodge Estate is situated in Kandapola, Nuwara Eliya at an elevation of 2012 metres above sea level and has an annual production capacity of 500,000 kg of made tea per annum. This estate is certified under Rain Forest Alliance, ISO 22000: 2005, UTZ and Ethical Tea Partnership. Court Lodge is managed by Thamal Manamperi and comes under the purview of Udapussellawa Plantations PLC. 

Alma Estate

Alma Estate established an all time record price of Rs. 760 per kg for a BOP grade in the Udapussellawa elevational category, surpassing their previous record price of 720 for the same grade. This week’s invoice was purchased by M/s. Inter Tea Ltd.

Alma Estate is situated in Kandapola, at an elevation of 1450 metres above sea level and has a production capacity of 600,000 kg of made tea per annum. This estate is managed by Chula De Alwis and Ranjan Walpola of Nuwara Eliya Valley Plantations Ltd. as a joint venture with Mathurata Plantations PLC. 

 

New Hopewell Estate

New Hopewell Estate under the selling mark Chandrika Estate achieved an all time record price of Rs. 740 per kg for a BOP1A grade. This estate is situated in Balangoda at an elevation of 540 metres above sea level. New Hopewell is certified under HACCP and ISO 22000:2005 Management System Certified for Manufacture of Black Tea, Food Sector. This estate is managed by Senhora Synergies, headed by Ranjan Walpola, Managing Director.

These record breaking teas were marketed by M/s., Forbes & Walker Tea Brokers Ltd. 

 

Daily FT, 16th October 2017.

Tea Board Chief praises RPCs for overcoming severe challenges, calls for state-led improvements to w

*Commends RPCs for investments into replanting over and above similar   initiatives in smallholder sector 

*Strongly criticises complete failure in procedure for banning of glyphosate

*Attacks Government failure to adequately fund Tea Research Institute 

*Calls for urgent improvements to urban townships, a relocation of workers out   of plantations

 

Addressing a gathering of the country’s most respected plantation industry professionals at the 163rd Annual General Meeting of the Planters’ Association of Ceylon (PA), Sri Lanka Tea Board Chairman, Rohan Pethiyagoda strongly commended the country’s regional plantation companies (RPCs) for their continuing success in the face of severe adversity and called for proactive steps to be taken by the Government to resolve the long-standing challenges faced by the sector’s labour force.

 

“I just want to say that in an environment where you come in for so much criticism at so many levels, I am an unstinting admirer of the RPCs. Unfortunately however, the RPCs. However become a whipping boy for politicians. You rarely hear a kind word said about you from amongst politicians at every level. We often hear that the RPCs are too big, but your average size is just 3,500 hectares which is an area of 7 x 5 kilometres as a rectangle which is certainly not an excessive amount of land to manage. 

 

“Hence, I don’t believe any further fragmentation is really justified and I certainly don’t agree with the attrition that we have seen of your land which has been acquired for other purposes without nearly enough consideration being given. Economies of scale and the fact that that 20 RPCs is still a lot of diversity means that in an environment where management capacity, especially at the senior levels is limited we need to be very thoughtful if we are looking at any substantial changes in the model that now exists,” he stated.

 

 Shifting his attention to the current model prevalent in the RPCs, Pethiyagoda called for gradual but sweeping changes to the lives of estate sector employees and their families, noting that many of these issues were not in fact the fault of RPCs but rather a long-standing 

 

“We need a new plantation society. You have 200,000 labour residents on your estates and their families – almost 1 million people – for whom you provide housing, healthcare, education and nutrition. And though I know that many of you will disagree with what I’m about to say, I think the thing that we have failed to give your employees and their families is freedom. 

 

“The plantation workers are yet to become full citizens in the meaningful sense of citizenship in this country. We have failed to help them integrate with the rest of society. And there are reasons for this; it’s not your fault. It is part of the legacy that you inherited from colonial times, in which transportation was not easy and it was convenient to have your labour resident at their place of work.”

 

Noting that such a socio-economic model is roundly considered an anomaly in modern times, Pethiyagoda noted that this feature of Sri Lanka’s colonial legacy had served together with political inaction had resulted in the towns and urban centres in Sri Lanka’s plantation regions had received little to no support to facilitate expansion and development.

 

“Even as they expand in population they can’t expand in area because they remain tiny islands of humanity in this vast ocean of tea. No Government has found the political will to allow these townships to develop into modern, urban units. The rightful place of plantation workers is in towns, not estates. 

 

“In the future, the model we have today will not persist. Hence it is better to make that transition peacefully and attract people to work in the estates from a diversity of backgrounds rather than look at the principle of indentured labour which we inherited from our colonial masters. It cannot happen overnight but I think it has to happen at some point,” Pethiyagoda predicted. 

 

Drawing a comparison between the socio-economic impact of the garment industry’s establishment in Sri Lanka and that of the plantation industry, he noted that beyond providing employment opportunities, the garment industry was able to spark a social transformation through the empowerment of women, helping them to truly become tax payers and citizens of the country while gaining much greater independence and control over their life and standard of living. 

 

“I think the tea industry is going to see such an emancipation of estate workers in the near future. If it doesn’t, I don’t think that you will be able to say that your plantation industry is truly a part of the modern economy. The unions and the politicians will not do this. 

 

“They won’t because it pays unions to have members. Because it pays unions to have members and fees and it pays politicians to have workers who will vote on block with unions who are aligned to politicians and parties. The estate labour has become captive into an economy, a social system and into a polity which they have very little control of and which does very little for them. As a result, they have suffered a huge number of social consequences,” he asserted. 

 

Pethiyagoda went on to strongly criticise current and previous Governments for consistently making crucial mistakes that drastically hampered the performance of RPCs and the wider tea industry, citing examples of prohibiting the harvesting of timber and the banning of glyphosate. 

 

“The Government encourages you to plant fire wood and then discourages you from harvesting it. Even wood lots that you have planted for timber cannot be harvested. This is stupidity simply because the whole idea of forestry is that you harvest it. If you plant a crop, you have to have the right to harvest it. In the 1970s many of your factories owned micro hydro plants, you were energy self-sufficient. The Government of the time stated that they had an energy surplus and forced connection to the grid. 

 

“Then two years ago we banned glyphosate. Who should have taken that decision? We have a registrar of pesticides, we have a fertiliser secretariat, we have a medical research institute and a tea research institute. Nobody was consulted. Someone woke up one morning and said: ‘oo lets ban Glyphosate’ and to this day there is nobody who is accountable for that decision,” he stated. 

 

Heaping further criticism on the Government, Pethiyagoda went on to highlight the failure of the Tea Research Institute to recommend a single alternative to glyphosate, in turn caused by a chronic lack of funding to the institute, which last year was only allocated Rs. 90 million for research. 

 

“What is the consequence? Many plantation owners have started using alternatives that are not authorised. These are now coming up in various importing countries. Last month we had Diuron discovered in Germany in excessive quantities, MCPA has been a problem in Japan. Sooner or later this is going to lead to importing countries putting restrictions on Sri Lankan tea imports and this is a serious problem but I cannot wake up this Government to think seriously about it. Goodness knows we have tried.” 

 

“So despite all these handicaps, despite being hobbled at every stage in your 20 year history as Regional Plantation Companies, you’ve done a fantastic job to bring the industry to where it is today and for that you deserve the nation’s gratitude and my thanks, which you have.”  

 

Daily FT, 11th October 2017.

Forbes carries away 4 all-time record prices at Colombo Tea Auctions held on 2/3 October

Delmar Estate

Delmar Estate established yet another all-time record price of Rs. 800 for a Pekoe grade in the Udapussellawa elevational category. This invoice was purchased by M/s. Empire Teas Ltd.

Currently Delmar holds all time record prices for OP, OP1, BOP1 and Pekoe grades in its elevation category.

Delmar Estate is situated in Halgranoya, in the Uda-pussellawa region, at an elevation of 1524 metres above sea level and is certified under ISO 9001:2008 and ISO 22000:2005 Management System Certified for Manufacture of Black Tea, Food Sector. This estate is managed by Sudath Liyanage and comes under the purview of Udapusselawa Plantations PLC. 

Dunsinane Estate

 Dunsinane Estate established an all-time record price of Rs. 730 per kg for a PF1 grade in the western high grown CTC category. This invoice was purchased by M/s., Uniworld Teas Ltd.

Dunsinane is situated at an elevation of 1400 metres above sea level at the Pundaluoya Valley in the Dimbula planting district. It is an ISO 22000:2005 and Rainforest Alliance certified facility with an annual production capacity of over a million kilos of made tea per annum. This estate is managed by Asela Udumulla and comes under the purview of Elpitiya Plantations PLC.

Mahagastotte Estate

Pedro Estate achieved an all-time record price of Rs. 720 per kg under the selling mark ‘Mahagastotte’ for a FGS 1 grade, in the Nuwara Eliya agro climatic planting district. This line of tea was purchased by M/s., Uniworld Teas Ltd.

Pedro Estate is situated in the Nuwara Eliya planting district and the factory at an elevation of 1,750 metres above sea level. This estate is currently certified under Rainforest Alliance, ISO22000:2005, HACCP, Ethical Tea Partnership and UTZ Code of Conduct for Tea. This estate is managed by Anura Senanayake, Deputy General Manager, and comes under the purview of Kelani Valley Plantation PLC.

Vellai Oya

 VellaiOya Estate achieved an all-time record price of Rs. 750 per kg for a BOPF grade for the second consecutive week in the western medium elevational category. This line of tea was purchased by M/s., Uniworld Tea Ltd.

Vellai Oya is situated in Watawala at an elevation of 1,331 metres above sea level and has a production capacity of a million kg of made tea per annum. This estate is certified under Rainforest Alliance, Ethical Tea Partnership and Fair Trade Labelling Organisation. The Manager of Vellai Oya is Prasanna Premachandra and comes under the purview of Watawala Plantations PLC.

 

Daily FT, 06th October 2017.

Brombil Tea Factory achieves all time record price for BOPF Sp grade

 

Brombil Tea Factory, situated in Palawatte – Kalutara district, achieved an all-time record price of Rs. 880 for a BOPF Sp grade at the weekly tea auctions held on 27 September. This line of tea was purchased by M/s Shan Tea Ltd. and marketed by M/s Forbes & Walker Tea Brokers Ltd. Brombil Tea Factory is Rain Forest Alliance and Ethical Tea Partnership certified. Brombil Tea Factory is one of the largest tea factories in Sri Lanka which produces both Orthodox and CTC teas and is renowned for the manufacture of good quality teas. This factory is owned by Aruna De Silva and managed by Indika Nallaperuma under the Evergreen Group.

 

Daily FT, 29th September 2017.

All time record price for Wikiliya Tea Factory

Wikiliya Tea Factory situated in Balangoda, Sabaragamuwa District, achieved an all time record price of Rs. 730 per kg for BOP1A grade at the weekly tea auction held on 26 September and was marketed by M/s. Forbes & Walker Tea Brokers Ltd.

 

Wikiliya Tea Factory is managed by Senhora Synergies, headed by Managing Director Ranjan Walpola.  

 

Daily FT, 29th September 2017.

Forbes bags 5 record prices at weekly tea auctions

Shawlands Estate

Shawlands Estate established yet another all-time record price of Rs. 1,400 for an OP1 grade in the Uva medium grown elevational category surpassing their previous record price of Rs. 1,250 for the same grade which was achieved last week. This invoice was purchased by M/s., Tea-Link Colombo Ltd.
 
Shawlands Estate is situated in Lunugala, Passara at an elevation of 990 metres above sea level and is certified under Rainforest Alliance, Ethical Tea Partnership, ISO 22000:2005/9001:2008 Management System Certified for Manufacture of Black Tea Food Sector and CQC. This estate is managed by Naresh Sahabandu and comes under the purview of Hapugastenna Plantations PLC. 
 
Dunsinane Estate
 
 Dunsinane Estate established an all-time record price of Rs. 710 per kg for a PF1 grade in the western high grown CTC category surpassing their own record price of Rs. 690 per kg for this grade.
 
Dunsinane is situated at an elevation of 1,400 metres above sea level at the Pundaluoya Valley in the Dimbula planting district. It is an ISO 22000:2005 and Rainforest alliance certified facility with an annual production capacity of over a million kilos of made tea per annum. This estate is managed by Asela Udumulla and comes under the purview of Elpitiya Plantations PLC.Kenmare Estate
 
Kenmare (Concordia) Estate established an all-time record price of Rs. 780 per kg for a BOPF grade in the Nuwara Eliya category. This line of tea was purchased by M/s., Unilever Lipton Ceylon Ltd. 
 
Kenmare(Concordia) Estate is situated in Kandapola, Nuwara Eliya at an elevation of 1,900 metres above sea level and has an annual production capacity of 900,000 kg of made tea per annum. This estate is certified under Rain Forest Alliance, Fair Trade, ISO 9001, ISO 22000 and Ethical Tea Partnership. Kenmare is managed by Lasantha Samarakoon and comes under the purview of Udapussellawa Plantations PLC. 
 
Delmar Estate
 
Delmar estate established yet another all-time record price of Rs. 760 for a Pekoe in the Uva/Udapussellawa elevational category. This invoice was purchased by M/s. George Steuart Teas Ltd.
 
Delmar Estate is situated in Halgranoya, in the Uda-pussellawa region, at an elevation of 1524 metres above sea level and is certified under ISO 9001:2008 & ISO 22000:2005 Management System Certified for Manufacture of Black Tea, Food Sector. This estate is managed by Sudath Liyanage and comes under the purview of Udapusselawa Plantations PLC. 
 
Gordon Estate
 
 
Gordon Estate too established an all-time record price of Rs. 760 per kg for a Pekoe in the Uva/Udapussellawa elevational category this week. This invoice was purchased by M/s. Unitrades Ltd.
 
Gordon Estate is situated in Uda-pussellawa, at an elevation of 1273 metres above sea level. This estate is managed by Richard Ohlmus and comes under the purview of Udapusselawa Plantations PLC. 
 
Daily FT, 22nd September 2017.

Shawlands achieves another record price!

Shawlands Estate established an all-time record price of Rs. 1,250 for an OP1 grade at the weekly tea auctions held on 12 September, in the Uva medium grown elevational category. This invoice was purchased by M/s., Tea-Link Colombo Ltd. and marketed by M/s., Forbes & Walker Tea Brokers Ltd.

 

The previous all time record for this grade was established back in 2005 by Shawlands, currently they also hold the record price for the OP grade for the Uva medium elevation at Rs. 1,350 per kg.

 

Shawlands Estate is situated in Lunugala, Passara at an elevation of 990 metres above sea level and is certified under Rainforest Alliance, Ethical Tea Partnership, ISO 22000:2005/9001:2008 Management System Certified for Manufacture of Black Tea Food Sector and CQC. This estate is managed by Naresh Sahabandu and comes under the purview of Hapugastenna Plantations PLC. 

 

Daily FT, 18th September 2017.

 

World Bank defends treatment of India tea pickers amid fears of exploitation

NEW DELHI (Thomson Reuters Foundation): The World Bank group has defended the treatment of tea pickers at an Indian project it funds with the multinational Tata Global Beverages, dismissing criticism that thousands of workers were living in poor conditions.

Four charities this week said little progress had been made to protect workers at India’s second largest tea producer in the northeast state of Assam - despite the World Bank group’s own watchdog raising concerns over low wages and poor housing.

 

The International Finance Corporation (IFC) – which is part of the World Bank group – invested $7.8 million in the $87 million project to help preserve jobs and raise standards for workers, but had been criticised for failing to do this.

 

However an IFC spokesman said more funds have been allocated to improve living standards, and employee councils formed to address complaints and boost workers’ say in company decisions.

 

“There are the long-standing challenges within the tea industry in India. Across Assam and other tea plantations, poverty is deeply entrenched,” Frederick Jones told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

 

“Despite the many challenges, Tata and IFC remain forces for good in the sector,” he added in an emailed statement.

 

The tea industry in Assam, the world’s largest growing area, has been in crisis for years with accusations of slave labour and trade unions demanding better wages while tea estate owners refused. Tea estates have faced closures due to various reasons, including labour disputes.

 

Around 30,000 tea workers are employed by Amalgamated Plantations Private Ltd (APPL) – a joint venture with the IFC and Tata Global Beverages (TGB).

 

APPL was set up in 2009 to acquire and manage tea plantations previously owned by TGB, which owns Tetley, the second-largest tea brand in the world. TGB owns just less than half of APPL and the IFC 20 percent, while the remainder is held by workers and smaller firms.

 

Complaints by charities and unions about exploitation of tea pickers prompted an IFC watchdog probe in 2014.

 

The watchdog’s findings in November last year found APPL had failed to identify and address complaints of low wages, poor housing and sanitation, and exposure to hazardous pesticides without adequate protection.

 

The investigation also found IFC’s investment supported an employee share-purchase programme in which APPL misrepresented the risks of buying stock, resulting in workers incurring debts. Despite promises to improve conditions, a report this week by four civil society groups – PAJHRA, PAD, Nazdeek and Accountability Counsel – said little has changed.

 

“Living conditions continue to remain oppressive and unsafe for tea workers, with crumbling housing, squalid sanitation, the absence of toilets and unclean drinking water,” said Stephen Ekka, Director of PAJHRA, an Assam-based charity.

 

The IFC and APPL have also failed to provide safety training or ensure basic protection gear for pesticides, he said.

 

APPL dismissed the report’s findings as inaccurate. A company statement said wages were in line with salary laws for the sector and safety and medical care provisions in place.

 

TGB said despite problems faced by India’s tea industry, APPL was committed to better the lives of its workers.

 

“APPL faces the same financial challenges as the rest of the tea industry in India,” said an emailed statement from TGB.

 

“However, that has not impeded its efforts to bring about a positive change in the tea plantations ecosystem ... in which APPL has invested a substantial amount both in terms of capital investment as well as operating expenses.” 

 

Daily FT, 04th September 2017.

Pothotuwa Tea Factory establishes all-time record price for BOP grade

Pothotuwa Tea Factory, situated in Beralapanatara, Deniyaya, achieved an all-time record price of Rs. 900 for a BOP grade at the weekly tea auctions held on 29 August. 

 

This line of tea was marketed by Forbes & Walker Tea Brokers Ltd. The Pothotuwa Tea Factory, established in 1989, is owned and managed by Anil Alwis and this tea factory is a leading producer of high quality Ceylon tea. 

 

Daily FT, 1st September 2017.

 

Uva Highlands achieves all time record price

01

Uva Highlands Estate achieved an all time record price of Rs. 1,400 per kg for a BOPF grade in the Uva High grown elevational category, at the weekly tea auctions held on 23 August. This invoice was purchased by M/s., Stassen Exports Ltd., and marketed by M/s., Forbes & Walker Tea Brokers Ltd.

 

Uva Highlands Estate is situated in Bandarawela, at an elevation of 1,250 metres above sea level and is said to have originally been planted in 1915. This estate has been producing high quality seasonal teas consistently which has made the ‘Uva Highlands’ mark synonymous with the uva quality season. 

 

This factory is currently certified under Ethical Tea Partnership (ETP) and ISO 22000:2005 Management System Certified for Manufacture of Black Tea, Food Sector. This estate is managed by Lasantha Ediriweera and comes under the purview of Malwatte Valley Plantations PLC. 

 

Daily Ft, 25th August 2017.

About F&W

Forbes & Walker was set up in 1881 as a partnership between James Forbes and Chapmen Walker. Although there is no actual record of the date on which it was established the very first cash book, still in the possession of the Finance Director, indicates the brokerages were earned from 1st August 1881. In Sir Thomas Villiers' book “Mercantile Lore” the date of establishment of Forbes & Walker has been put down      Read More...

©  2018 TeaPortal All rights reserved | BenWorldwide