Ceylon Tea: Does it have a future?

Ceylon Tea: Does it have a future?

Ceylon Tea: Does it have a future?

Written by Keshala Dias

08 Dec, 2016 | 7:36 pm

As Ceylon tea prepares to celebrate 150 years in 2017, there are serious questions surrounding its future.

In this special documentary, News 1st explores the threats facing Sri Lanka’s most famous global brand- Ceylon tea.

Global reputation

Famed for its taste and quality, Ceylon tea put Sri Lanka on the world stage. But with plunging output and rising costs, the Ceylon tea industry faces a perfect storm of challenges.

If this industry were to fail,  the consequences for more than 1 million people employed by the industry, and Sri Lanka at large, would be huge.

The film starts by taking a look at Ceylon tea’s rich history and the situation the industry currently faces. For instance, how did such larges swathes of Sri Lanka come to be covered in tea bushes?

Sri Lanka was once the world’s leading exporter of tea, but what factors led to Sri Lanka to losing this title?

Under threat

This film investigates the diverse and numerous threats that could topple the industry. The film finds that the industry is threatened by climate change, political interference, poor labour relations and welfare of workers. We get behind the news headlines about plantation worker protests and take a look at the reality of a tea plucker’s life.

Hope

Finally, the film concludes by examining whether, despite the threats, there is in fact hope for an industry that so many depend on.

Exclusive material

Containing stunning original footage of the hill country, the film also contains exclusive interviews with the Minister of Plantation industries, the former Planters’ Association Chairman, plantation workers, and the Director of the Tea Research Institute. This original piece of journalism provides an insight into the challenges facing one of Sri Lanka’s biggest industries.

By Charlotte Sexton

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