The French Development Agency grants 1 million euros to develop the geographical indication of Ceylon tea – Lanka Business Online


The French Development Agency (AFD) signed a grant agreement of one million euros with the Sri Lanka Tea Board (SLTB) and the French Agricultural Research Center for Development (CIRAD) for the development of a geographical indication (GI) for Ceylon tea. The agreement was signed by the AFD Country Director and the SLTB President in the presence of the Hon. Minister of Plantations and SE. Ambassador of France. The creation of a GI for Ceylon tea will aim to promote quality products, protect the traditional know-how on which it is based, and strengthen its commercial value and its recognition in international markets.

Sri Lanka’s tea sector dates back over 150 years and is the country’s second largest source of net currency. ‘Ceylon tea’, identified by the Lion logo, exhibits unique qualities with a range of flavors and aromas. The geographic aspects and conditions of each of the seven tea-producing regions have a significant influence on the characteristics of the teas they produce. Despite its uniqueness, “Ceylon tea” does not have the protection to maintain and authenticate the product’s reputation for quality. Counterfeit Ceylon tea is sold in various consuming countries.

A geographical indication (GI) certification serves to maintain and authenticate the quality, reputation and characteristics of a product by linking it to a specific territory through the protection of intellectual property, while giving it added value. in national and international markets.

This grant will provide, over a period of four years, technical assistance to establish the GI and relevant certification systems for “Ceylon tea”. It will enable CIRAD, which has proven experience in the implementation of geographical indications, and UNIDO (United Nations Industrial Development Organization), which has been working for several years on the establishment of a GI for Ceylon cinnamon, to support SLTB and many players in the tea industry. Through this process, the ‘Ceylon tea’ value chain is expected to become more productive, inclusive and sustainable. Ceylon tea will have increased added value in international markets through intellectual property protection and national and international certifications.

Dr. Ramesh Patthirana – Minister of Plantaion, Kanaka Herath – Minister of State for Business Reforms, Tea and Rubber Cultures, Jeewan Thondaman – Minister of State for Housing and Community Infrastructure, French Ambassador to Srilanka Eric Lavatu , Plantation Secretary Ravindara Hewawasm, Jayampathi Molligoda- Chairman of Sri Lanka Tea Board, Anura Sriwardana –General Director of Sri Lanka Tea Board and Pavithri Peiris –Promotion Manager of Sri Lanka Tea Board were also present.

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