Over the Teacups

Giving Voice to the Tea Industry

Tea Prices Fluid in 2010

Posted on | February 22, 2010 | Comments

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Just as the good news that tea prices may stabilize in 2010, in comes cold water to douse our hopes.  Tea importers into the USA are attempting to soften the impact to consumers. Tea prices will more than likely have a significant increase in 2010.
With renewed consumer confidence after the economic downturn, we all wish for stable tea prices.  On the other hand, no one has control over crop conversion to organic certification, weather patterns or civil unrest all of which contribute to rising tea costs.
1)An increase in organic production is leading to reduced yields. It isn’t just pesticides that affect organic certification, organic certification also includes use of fertilizers which promote tea growth.
2)Stricter control of the organic certification process creates an inherent layer of expense that is passed along to the consumer (who is asking for stricter controls).
3)The reputed health benefits with tea consumption is causing an increase in the global demand for tea.  Today’s latest Chinese green tea study purports that green tea’s anti-oxidant properties help prevent hardening of the arteries and improve vision particularly associated with glaucoma.
4)Sri Lanka is the world’s largest exporter of tea.  In 2009, due to poor weather conditions, Ceylon tea production dropped 12% – a whopping impact when connected with a 7% drop in South India tea production and 9% drop in Kenya production due to drought.
5)Fair Trade and higher labor standards add to an overall price increase.
When all is said and done, I believe tea will remain the least expensive beverage per cup and the most consumed beverage second only to water.

About the Author

Jennifer Petersen is a tea enthusiast, teaches various aspects about tea as a business, and a marketing consultant to the beverage industry. Always fascinated by other people who love tea, she is a life-long student and admirer of those who choose tea as a lifestyle.