Washington, September 24, 2012: Sri Lanka Embassy in Washington in collaboration with the Sri Lanka Tea Board has launched a vigorous campaign to promote Ceylon Tea in the United States. The focus of the campaign is to strategically and effectively position Ceylon Tea in the US market, which is currently experiencing a notable increase of tea consumption.
The Ceylon Tea campaign was launched in conjunction with the intersessional meetings of United Nations’ FAO Intergovernmental Group (IGG) on Tea hosted by the US Tea Council at One Washington Circle Hotel from 17 to 18 September 2012 . The IGG meetings were attended by a number of tea producing and tea consuming countries and was followed by a well attended Fifth International Scientific Symposium on Tea and Human Health on September 19, 2012 at the US Department of Agriculture in Washington DC.
Ms. Janaki Kuruppu, Chairperson of the Sri Lanka Tea Board led a14-member delegation comprising both Government and private Sectors from the tea Industry of Sri Lanka.
Ambassador Jaliya Wickramasuriya, hosted a dinner reception in honour of the Sri Lanka tea delegation on September 19 at the Sri Lanka Residence. The wide and representative gathering included leading US tea importers, retailers, scientists who presented papers on growing health benefits on tea particularly on the black tea, high ranking US Government officials including Mr. Michael Delaney, Assistant United States Trade representative, Mr. Jim Moore , Deputy Assistant Secretary of State, the Presidents of the Tea Councils of USA & Canada and media personnel.
Ambassador Wickramasuriya , Sri Lanka’s envoy to the United States assured the unstinted support of the Embassy to promote Ceylon tea in the US market. He invited US consumers to look for a quality cup of tea, which would naturally originate from Sri Lanka.
“Under the directions and vision of His Excellency the President of Sri Lanka, my Embassy is committed to very closely working with all stakeholders to enhance Sri Lanka’s Economic Partnerships with the USA”, he said.
He also underscored the immense opportunities present in the steadily growing US tea market for the Sri Lankan tea producers.
“Today the United States has become the 2nd largest tea importer and the 6th largest tea consuming country in the world. On the other hand, Sri Lanka is currently the 3rd largest tea exporter of the world but we have only 3% market share in the U.S. market”, he said.
Ambassador Wickramasuriya stressed that it is incumbent on the Sri Lankan Tea industry to realise the full potential of the US tea industry with increased partnerships with US importers and through a well-focused marketing strategy.
The guests were introduced to the seven agro-climatic brands of Ceylon Tea as they enjoyed the traditional Sri Lankan menu. The tables were named after the seven agro-climatic regions namely Dimbula, Nuwara Eliya, Uda Pussellawa, Sabaragmuwa, UVA, Kandy and Ruhuna. The teas belonging to each region were readily available for the guests to enjoy.
During the dinner reception, invitees were treated to a traditional Sri Lankan dance performance by the DC based Ethnic Dance Studio of Chathuri Wickramarachchi.