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Germans to purchase up to 50 tonnes of Myanmar tea leaves

Germans to purchase up to 50 tonnes of Myanmar tea leaves

May 16, 2018


A German company has offered to purchase between 20 tonnes and 50 tonnes of tea leaves produced in Myanmar over the next two years, U Kyaw Thiha, chair of the Myanmar Tea Cluster, said on Sunday.


The Myanmar Tea Cluster is part of the Myanmar Fruit and Vegetable Producers and Exporters Association.


“A few days ago, ChaDo, a German company, approached us. This company buys tea leaves from various countries and redistributes them. They’re now interested in Myanmar tea leaves,” U Kyaw Thiha said.Plans will now be made to expand production so that the quota is met. “We can easily manage 20 tonnes of tea leaves. But we have to expand the land area to produce 50 tonnes. Fortunately, the existing tea plantation land is also suitable to accommodate the expansion,” said U Kyaw Thiha.“We will have to gather the farmers to expand. The company only wants young tea leave and globally-recognised certifications. We will have to fulfill those requirements. We will also make sure the process is organised and viable for the local farmers,” he added. ChaDo will purchase the tea leaves at $7,000 per tonne but will pay up to $9,000 for higher quality tea leaves.


The offer represents a good opportunity for Myanmar to showcase the quality of its tea in an international market, potentially drawing more interest and growth to the industry.


It is also not the first time Germany has offered to buy Myanmar tea. In 2016, Premium Tea Company Tee Gschwendner, based in Meckenheim, Germany, bought 1.5 tonnes of Myanmar green tea for the very first time.The company was the first German importer of tea produced at a community-based model factory in Sikya Inn village, Pindaya township, Shan State, as part of a bigger project to support small and medium enterprises by the Myanmar-Germany Private Sector Development arm of GIZ.


“It’s great to see international companies becoming interested in Myanmar tea leaves. Local farmers are currently unable to distribute domestic tea overseas because we lack the ability to scale production. We aim to be in a situation where we’re producing our own tea leaves but we do not have the capital. It’s satisfying for farmers to see that an international company is taking an interest in our crop,” said U Win Hlaing, a local resident from Pindaya.Currently, local tea farmers are forced to depend on the domestic market. Meanwhile, local tea traders are unable to compete with businesses importing tea leaf-related products produced in China. As such, the number of local tea businesses has declined. Of the 128 local tea leaf traders active  in 2010, only 8 traders remain today, according to the Myanmar Tea Cluster.



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