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Friday 15 December 2017

International Tea Day

It was the American Thomas Sullivan who accidentally invented the teabag when he sent out samples in small silk pouches to customers in 1904. They did not know to empty the contents into the pot and added everything including the silk container.
The word tea comes from the Chinese Te, which was the word in the Amoy dialect for the plant from which tea leaves came. In Mandarin, the word was cha, which is where the words char and chai are derived from. Chinese legend tells us that Emperor Shen Nong first discovered tea in 2737 B.C., when leaves from the tea bushes fell into water his servants were boiling to purify. It was at first considered a tonic, however, and used for medicinal purposes only.
Though the Chinese grows the most tea, they are not the biggest consumers. At least not per capita. That would be the United Arab Emirates, whose citizens drink nearly 14 pounds of the stuff every year, putting them ahead of Morocco and Ireland residents. Brits come in seventh and the United States ranks a lowly 69th in the top 100. Between us all, however, we manage to drink more than three billion cups a year, making tea the second-most-consumed beverage behind water.
After initial discussions at the World Social Forum in 2004, the first International Tea Day was celebrated in New Delhi in 2005, with later celebrations organized in Sri Lanka in 2006 and 2008. International Tea Day celebrations and the related Global Tea Conferences have been jointly organized by trade union movements.
International Tea Day is observed annually on December 15. It has been celebrated since 2005 in tea producing countries like Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Vietnam, Indonesia, Kenya, Malawi, Malaysia, Uganda, India and Tanzania. International Tea Day aims to draw global attention of governments and citizens to the impact of the global tea trade on workers and growers, and has been linked to requests for price supports and fair trade.
World trade in tea is witnessing significant changes under the WTO commodity policies. The structure of the global commodity tea trade under the WTO compulsions provides an absolute advantage to transnational brands and retailers in the trade. Policies by nation states in line with the WTO compulsions such as removal of tariff and import of tea from other countries largely reduce the commodity prices of tea in the producing countries. This has created a situation where the demand is not increasing but pushing global commodity prices further downwards resulting in closures and abandonment of tea gardens. The situation enables global brands
to get tea at the lowest possible prices.
In 2015, the Indian government proposed expanding the observance of International Tea Day through the UN Food and Agriculture Organization.
Source: wikipedia.org | cec-india.org
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