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Niraj de Mel new Chairman, Sri Lanka Tea Board

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Sri Lanka Tea Board announced that Niraj de Mel has been appointed as the Chairman of the Board with effect from 20 June 2022.

De Mel commenced his career in the industry as a tea taster and has over 45 years of experience as a tea broker, exporter, administrator and mentor.

In addition to his career in the Tea Value Chain, he also served as Chairman of the from June 2004 to November 2005. He was a past Chairman of Sri Lanka Tea Board, the Tea Exporter’s Association and the Colombo Brokers Association and a Vice Chairman of the Colombo Tea Traders Association.

Taking office once more at the Tea Board, Niraj said, “Every stakeholder be they growers, manufacturers, producers, brokers and exporters are facing challenges.

Sri Lanka Tea Board is dealing with these changes in a very proactive and astute manner, seriously looking at innovative ways to maintain the reputation of Ceylon tea which will benefit all tea stakeholders for years to come,”.

It is a very important time in history with global economic changes following the aftermath of the COVID19 Pandemic.

“Freight, packing, labour and fuel costs have risen sharply thereby affecting the cost structure of products and consumer prices. These changes have been acutely felt in the Tea industry too.”

However, de Mel highlighted that in spite of obstacles as a result of the issues facing the economy, first due to the C-19 pandemic in 2020 and currently the dollar crisis, the industry was able to generate USD 1.2 billion in 2020 and 1.3 billion in 2021. Slightly better foreign exchange revenue is expected this year too due to very high prices for Ceylon Tea since March which is expected to continue around these levels for the rest of the year.

He asserted that every possible measure is being taken to provide all required inputs including fertilizer and fuel to ensure that the wheels of production function smoothly, giving the required confidence to tea exporters that steady supplies of tea will be available.

He noted that plans to improve the quality of tea and sustainability of the industry are in place.



Tuesday, June 28, 2022 – 01:00

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