International Tea Day is a United Nations observance celebrated annually on May 21 to express the economical, biological and physical benefits of tea. It was inaugurated by the General Assembly and essentially replaced the unofficial observance of the same name, which used to be celebrated on December 15 in tea producing countries. The observance of International Tea Day is promoted and facilitated by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization in collaboration with other relevant organizations and stakeholders.
Millions of families in developing and least developed countries owe their livelihood and subsistence to tea. Some of the poorest countries rely on the tea industry as a main source of income and export revenues; due to being a labor-intensive sector, it is the most important provider of jobs for people living in economically disadvantaged and remote areas of the tea producing regions. As one of the major perennial crops, tea plays a significant role in rural development, poverty reduction and food security in developing countries.
Due to all this, the production and processing of tea contributes to the achievement of the sustainable development goals, such as the eradication of extreme poverty, the fight against hunger, the empowerment of women, and the sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems. Taking this into account, the UN General Assembly designated May 21 as International Tea Day based on the proposal submitted by the FAO-IGG Tea group.
The key goal of International Tea Day is to raise public awareness of the importance of tea for sustainable livelihoods and rural development, as well as the challenges that the tea industry has to face, such as climate change. The observance also aims to popularize tea drinking around the world in order to expand demand and increase per capita consumption.
Tea is the second most used drink in the world after water which states the self-explanatory importance and worth of tea in the world. It is also mentioned in the theme that the basic purpose of World Tea Day is to spread awareness among the people about the financial outcomes of tea in the poor areas of the world which are the major producer of this crop. As the demand for tea is always there but it usually happens that its fair supply and trade cannot be accorded. So these poor areas of Continent Asia cannot find the profitable results of the production of the world’s most consumed beverage.
The significance to celebrate this day is to prompt the Health benefits of Tea drinking, as Tea is Rich in antioxidants and tea drinking may help to reduce the risk of heart disease and initiation and progression of some cancer. Also tea helps to lose weight and hence can be a useful, easily accessible and cheap tool to fight against major health issues like obesity, nausea and slow metabolism.
The first International Tea Day was celebrated in 2020. In this year, the global tea fraternity is going to celebrate the third occasion of International Tea Day proclaiming the theme for this day as “Tea and Fair Trade”. The basic purpose of this theme is to glorify the economical facts of tea, especially the areas where it is grown, are poverty trodden and its fair trade cannot only enhance their resources and access to the international market but can also be helpful in the eradication of poverty.
Sri Lanka Tea Board has released a video on Ceylon tea to celebrate the International Tea Day through Social and Digital Media. The Sri Lanka tea fraternity salutes the brave and courageous workforce in the tea industry who is continuing to produce the golden brew to the satisfaction of tea connoisseurs globally despite the COVID 19 pandemic.
In such a background, the Sri Lankan tea industry wishes to recognize few vital characters and crucial segmentation to pay tribute for the invaluable service and enormous sacrifices made to raise the popularity and perceived quality parameters to stardom:
# The sweat of the toiling workers is our Green Gold which ultimately serves the connoisseur to his or her satisfaction. Accordingly, the tea smallholder sector is a significant contributor to the production and output of Ceylon Tea in Sri Lanka, and across the globe. We are often called the ‘backbone’ of our tea industry and with good reason. Tea smallholders operate in 60% of the total tea land and account for more than 70% of the total tea produced.
# The tea stains on the fingers of the pluckers tell an unknown story which is unlimited in value. This day is a tribute to these angels.
# A great story on uplifting women’s empowerment from birth to death
# Reliability, Consistency and Sustainability is the forte of the Sri Lanka Tea Industry now boasting of a 155 years heritage. These unique pillars have been the success factors of the island nation’s economy for many years.