Current Status and Future Development of Global Tea Production and Tea Products

AU J.T 05/2009; 12(12):251-264.

ABSTRACT Tea is globally one of the most popular and lowest cost beverages, next only to water. Tea is consumed by a wide range of age groups in all levels of society. More than three billion cups of tea are consumed daily worldwide. Tea is considered to be a part of the huge beverage market, not to be seen in isolation just as a 'commodity'. Tea active ingredients are of interest to functional foods markets. Africa, South America, the Near East and especially the Asian region produces a varied range of teas, this, together with a reputation in the international markets for high quality, has resulted in Asia enjoying a share of every importing market in the world. Huge populations in Asia, Middle East, Africa, UK, EU, and countries of the CIS consume tea regularly and throughout the day. The main tea producing countries globally are: in Africa: Burundi, Kenya, Malawi, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda, Zimbabwe and others. In South America: Argentina, Brazil and others; In Near East: Iran and Turkey. In Asia: Bangladesh, China, India, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Viet Nam and others. In addition, the Russian Federation and CIS countries produce quantities of tea. Numerous types of teas are produced in the countries listed above. In China, for example, the country with the largest planting of tea and second in output, green tea is around half of the total export, black tea around one third and other teas one fifth. Depending on the manufacturing technique it may be described as green, black, oolong, white, yellow and even compressed tea. Many other teas and tea products continue to be developed by those active tea producing and consuming countries. The Intergovernmental Group on Tea monitors market conditions and provides an update of potential market prospects for tea over the medium term. The data in this paper is compiled essentially from their published data (FAO 2008) which examines the current situation and medium term prospects for production, consumption and trade of tea, and its impact on the world tea market. In summary, tea is considered as having a share of the global beverage market, a highly competitive field. A wide range of tea products continue to be developed, through product and process development for added-value, as market shares become more sophisticated and competitive. The tea industry must rise to these challenges, facing the future with confidence.

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