Recognizing the long history and deep cultural and economic significance of tea around the world, the United Nations General Assembly proclaimed 21 May as International Tea Day.
The origins of tea stretch back more than 5 000 years, but its contributions to health, culture and socioeconomic development are still as relevant today. Tea is currently grown in very localized areas, and supports over 13 million people, including smallholder farmers and their households, who depend on the tea sector for their livelihoods.
International Tea Day is an opportunity to celebrate the cultural heritage, health benefits and economic importance of tea, while working to make its production sustainable “from field to cup” ensuring its benefits for people, cultures and the environment continue for generations.
Recognizing the long history and deep cultural and economic significance of tea around the world, the United Nations General Assembly proclaimed 21 May as International Tea Day, calling on FAO to lead the observance.
The first observance of the International Tea Day was celebrated in a virtual event that brought together the world’s top tea exporting and importing countries as well as major producing countries where tea cultivation is an important source of revenues.
Karan Shah, Director, Society Tea said, “India is a nation that loves drinking tea. Tea is an intricate part of both its culture and history and is a habit embedded into life. Tea Society Called India rejoices all those small moments in the day, wherein people come together to enjoy a cup of chai. This International Tea Day, you brew delightful experiences over a cup of chai with your family and friends. We hope that this day instills love and joy and we soon come together as a community to enjoy our tea together.”
Celebrating love for tea, Society Tea hopes that this International Tea Day brings a new and refreshing energy, allowing one and all to rekindle their chai time with their near and dear ones. Being a constant in every Indians life, tea has become an integral part of our lives. Society Tea today, a market leader in the Tea category in Maharashtra, has become a dominant force, with around 40% market share of packaged tea in the state.
It is hoped that the Day will promote and foster collective actions to implement activities in favour of the sustainable production and consumption of tea and raise awareness of its importance in fighting hunger and poverty.
Key messages of International Tea Day
- Tea production and processing represent a source of livelihoods for millions of families.
- Tea export earnings help to finance food import bills, supporting the economy.
- The specific agro-ecological conditions where tea thrives occur in areas which are highly vulnerable to climate change.
- Global trade in 2020 was affected by logistics issues and measures imposed to contain COVID-19.
- Trade recovered in 2021 as shipments from major exporters resumed
- During the COVID-19 pandemic tea sales remarkably increased spurred by purchases for in-home consumption, as tea brought comfort to millions around the world
- Increasing in-home consumption of tea more than offset declining out-of-home consumption in many instances. In order to ensure benefits for both people and the environment, the tea value chain must be sustainable at all stages, from field to cup.
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