High Commissioner Bogollagama meets with the European Speciality Tea Association

In line with Sri Lanka’s participation at the  International Food Exhibition (IFE) 2024 held at London- ExCell,  on 26.3.2024, His Excellency Rohitha Bogollagama, High Commissioner of Sri Lanka in the UK, joined by Mr. Niraj de Mell, Chairman of Sri Lanka Tea Board, met with the Board Directors of the European Speciality Tea Association (ESTA) at the High Commission of Sri Lanka in London.

High Commissioner Bogollagama welcomed the ESTA and CATA to the High Commission and appreciated their commitment to the speciality tea world wide and the assistance and the ideas being generated in promoting Ceylon Tea, while closely associating with the authorities in Sri Lanka and the tea indutry in Sri Lanka.

It was discussed in detail that Sri Lanka needs to refocus in promoting and regaining the UK tea market through various collaborations and joint actions based on the dynamics and the consumer preferences of the tea market in the UK. Mr. Mel requested the ESTA to be the link point in regaining Ceylon tea market in general and invited the ESTA members to attend the International Tea Convention in Colombo in July 2024.

Taking actions to upgrade the quality, standards, and the new technology, innovatives in the tea industry while protecting the indigenous methods,  the ethical practices and the focused manufacturing and branding etc, in the tea plantations and to focus on speciality tea promotions in the UK was discussed. The ESTA already presented a draft MOU in this regard to the Sri Lanka Tea Board and it was agreed to continue the interactions. A Working Commitee to achieve such collaboration was proposed by High Commissioner Bogollagama together with required deep  studies, researches etc, in order to penetrate the market.

Mr. Nigel Melican, President of the ESTA, together with its Executive Director Mr. David Veal and the other directors and members of the ESTA who attended this interactive meeting mentioned that they are pleased to work with the High Commission to take forward the ideas generated to a strategy called ” Ceylon Tea, to make fashionable again”

The meeting was also attended by Mr. Simon Nihal Bell, Chairman of Ceylon Artisonal Tea Association (CATA) who contributed with important ideas on the development of the speciality tea sector from Sri Lanka’s view point.

After this meeting the directors and the members of the ESTA attended the Ceylon Tea and Sri Lanka Food Business Networking reception held at the High Commission which was attended by nearly 100 members of the UK tea and food trade, senior UK officials including the Department of Business and Trade and the Commonwealth related bodies, trade chamber representatives, media and influencers, and also the exhibitors who came from Sri Lanka to showcase their products at 02 pavillions of the Sri Lanka Tea Board and Sri Lanka Export Development Board at the IFE London 2024.


Sri Lanka High Commission

26 March 2024