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Tea Board Seeks GI for Ceylon Tea

Issued: January 01 2010

The Sri Lanka Tea Board is seeking a geographical indication for different types of Ceylon tea, according to a report in Lanka Business.

Sri Lanka Tea Board chairman Lalith Hettiarachchi told the newspaper that the board is seeking geographical indications for seven tea growing districts in the island.

“It would be a marketing advantage for the industry,” he said. “The final draft of the registration papers is now with the lawyers.”

The Tea Board expects local registration of the tea growing regions in the first half of 2010, Hettiarachchi told the newspaper. It expects to also claim GI protection under the Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) agreement.

The seven tea-growing areas for which GI recognition is sought are Nuwara Eliya, Dimbula, Uva, Udapusellawa, Kandy, Ruhuna and Sabaragamuwa, in the island’s central hills and southern districts. The Tea Board has already registered factories in each of the seven agro-climatic regions.

The initiative was begun several years ago and the registration process has been a long-drawn out one, the newspaper reported. The industry expects GI recognition to reduce the scope for misuse of the “Ceylon tea” image by blended products with only a little Ceylon tea.


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