* UN meeting on tea opens in Sri Lanka tomorrow

Jan 29, Colombo: Sri Lanka will hold a two-day international meeting on the tea industry with the participation of officials from major tea producing and consuming countries in the world.

The 20th Session of the United Nation’s Food and Agriculture Organization’s Inter-Governmental Group on Tea will open tomorrow in Sri Lanka. It will be held from 30 January to 1 February 2012 in Colombo.

Sri Lanka Tea Board, the apex authority of the tea industry in Sri Lanka, will be hosting the event.

A statement issued by the Tea Board said the focus of the biannual FAO/IGG sessions is to discuss and resolve issues related to production, marketing, pricing and consumption of tea faced by the international tea industry in a single platform and discuss the way forward for the next 10 years.

Maximum residue level of pesticides in tea, the impact of climate change, market development, and the medium-term outlook for tea are some of the major issues to be addressed at the meeting.

During the session, an interactive electronic forum would be launched to facilitate interaction among tea producing countries, particularly, during the two-year period between two sessions of FAO/IGG on Tea.

Delegates from over 25 countries will participate in 2012 FAO/IGG sessions. Some of the tea producing countries to participate in the meeting includes India, China, Kenya, Indonesia, Bangladesh, Vietnam, Africa, and Argentina while the USA, Canada, UK, Pakistan, Russia and UAE will represent nations consuming or importing tea.

The UN FAO/ IGG on Tea, which was established in 1969, is a forum where important policies and strategies related to the global tea industry are formulated. Its Membership is open to all the members/associate members of UN who are interested in tea production, consumption and trading.

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