Sri Lanka tea has achieved another ‘First of its Kind’ by receiving the ‘Ozone Friendly Tea’status from United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). Ethically and environmentally friendly tea products are gaining momentum the world over. Thus, the Ozone Friendly Tea status has given a competitive advantage for Ceylon Tea as it can be marketed worldwide as an environmentally friendly product.
Under the 1987 Montreal Protocol, all member countries have been requested to phase out the use of Methyle Bromide (MeBr) in agriculture production by 2015. The project is implemented through the United Nations Environment Programme. Methyl Bromide is an aggressive Ozone depletion substance used in pest management in agriculture, product storage, warehousing, quarantine and pre-shipment purposes. Depletion of Ozone layer is harmful to humans, agriculture crops and other living creatures. Under the Montreal Protocol, Sri Lanka implemented two projects to phase out the use of Methyle Bromide for non-quarantine and pre-shipment purposes. The project on tea sector implemented by National Ozone Unit of Ministry of Environment with the assistance of Tea Research Institute of Sri Lanka was successful in finding and adopting environment friendly technologies without use of Methyle Bromide on the tea production. The project was completed in 2007 and Sri Lanka was awarded the Montreal Protocol Implementers Award in recognition of the work carried out during 1987 – 2007 period. Sri Lanka is the first tea producing country to receive the Ozone Friendly Tea status.
Sri Lanka Tea Board has developed a new logo for Ozone Friendly Pure Ceylon Tea which will be used on all pure Ceylon Tea packs from January next year. The logo has been registered in Sri Lanka as a certification mark and teas grown and manufactured in Sri Lanka without use of Methyle Bromide only will be eligible to use the new logo. The Ozone Friendly Pure Ceylon Tea logo is the property of Sri Lanka Tea Board and those who wish to use the logo should apply to Tea Board to obtain the franchise rights. Only retail packages containing pure Ceylon Tea can use the certification mark. Ceylon Tea mixed/blended with other origin teas is not permitted to use the Ozone Friendly Tea logo.