Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Refuse Tea conspiracy in Sri Lanka – An industry now – a huge racket with too many stakeholders


I have pointed out in this blog, how the actions and inactions of this Regime in Sri Lanka has ruined every aspect of our lives, that will destroy much of what is Sri Lanka. Ironically the perpetrators are doing it using the easily marketed word of patriots, by fooling the populace and being none other than traitors.

Any society must realize that it is always the leadership that the people follow, and if they are engaged in treachery so will all those down the line. I have covered, illegal sand mining, illegal rock blasting, illegal artifact digging, illegal medicinal tree felling and smuggling of endangered plants and plant material overseas, illegal tree felling on a mass scale, illegal false invoiced importation, both resulting in huge losses of customs duties and unfair advantage against law abiding legitimate business who play by the rules, inferior/ harmful products being dumped in Sri Lanka, the illegal import of banned chemicals in making various pesticides that have aggravated the NCP Kidney Disease. The state bureaucracy is fully engaged in this racket with many elected politicians and government servants making big money in every aspect of the above at the expense of the Country and its people – all acts of treachery.

All of the above have increased thousand fold in this government due to the method by which the politicians administer the system of government. Illegal money making is king as people firmly believe to become rich one MUST grease the palms of public servants and politicians, and perform an illegal trade!

Another to add to this is the REFUSE TEA TRADE. Refuse Tea is the tea that for many reasons a byproduct of tea production MUST BE DESTROYED as it will otherwise adulterate CEYLON TEA and make our unique produce worthless. The rules for each Tea Factory are clear, on how to document and destroy this tea. The tea should be added back to the soil as part of the compost or soil conditioning. The Tea Board also has checks on how this is done and audits etc. all to no avail.

It is now becoming a huge where there is a whole industry of people engaged in all aspects, buying tea for a value, tea maker in the factory, the manager of the factory, and even the supervisor in charge of making sure his workers plough it back into the soil are all part of this activity. When they earn an additional income from this, they will do anything to falsify documents and claim the tea is destroyed.

This tea then ends up in clandestine factories, where it is processed and then using all sorts of means in connivance with the bureaucrats, get exported as Pure Ceylon Tea. It is OK if this tea is consumed locally and thereby disappears into the system. When it is exported it becomes a problem as the quality of Ceylon Tea is compromised, and sometimes harmful chemicals are also added to refuse tea to preserve appearance and taste, making matters worse.

The periodic raids, and catching of lorries with refuse tea, is just the TIP OF THE ICEBURG. We are given a false sense of security that this problem is under control. IT IS FIRMLY NOT. Only 1% is caught with 99% getting exported with pure profits of over Rs 10B to the mafia of these exporters.

Like I mentioned, there are thousands of people in the food chain who benefit from this and that is why I call it a separate industry that operates under the radar. If I am questioned by the CID regarding this matter, you can be assured that 9 times out of 10 he would be an officer with connections to the trade, who profits from it one way or another. So when a traitor in the name of the CID questions someone who wishes to point out actions against the state, one can just imagine how ingrained the level of treachery is against this country. They are people who will sell their mothers for a few bucks!

Just like the list of crimes referred to at the beginning, none of the big fish in the game are prosecuted, as they are either the Government or obtain protection from the Government or elected officials, and the law enforcement authorities. In a police state such as Sri Lanka, all criminal activity is part and parcel of this self same clique. I wish someone with the courage to take on this mafia, will do so, as otherwise the whole Tea Industry in Sri Lanka will go the way of the Coffee Blight! Unless we stop this, and it is easy to do so with good certification and honest customs officials, as it is something that HAS to happen at the export end as it ends in containers headed for foreign parts. If that can be caught and the exporters incarcerated, then the whole food chain can be stopped.

There is NO point appealing to a corrupt administration, the only recourse I believe is to the Tea Trade to take out full page ads in all papers informing the people of this problem and the threat to the tea industry, together with an appeal to the Government to stop this. When consulted, they fear doing so because they do not wish to open a can of worms, in case the importing countries believe ALL our tea is tainted, and thus inform the world of this. The Refuse Mafia knows this dilemma and are cashing on big time due to this fear. Tea Trade you have NO TIME LEFT.


If any reader has a better suggestion, please let me know and more importantly let the tea trade know of how to eviscerate our Tea Industry from this Cancer!! Please.

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

This is the only area of the Tea business that is profitable today, after the wage hike that bears no relation to productivity was put through a month or two ago, making the COP (Cost of Production of Tea) hardly worth it unless SL Tea can be marketed as a premium product commanding premium prices, which this refuse Tea is about to destroy.

Rakhitha said...

Informing public has no point. As you said your self, they can be easily fooled.

I say let the tea industry loose its markets. And let the people involved in the industry go out of business.

Unlike other corruption issues in SL, this is special. It is the same people who make a living from tea industry who are making this possible. Once there is no market for SL tea those refuse tea will be worthless.

Essentially they are digging their own grave. As a result tea industry itself has to wake up and fix it itself or go out of business.

Jack Point said...

Wrote a follow up post, please publish any further info

http://jestforkicks.blogspot.com/2013/06/the-hollowing-out-of-sr-lanka-export-of.html

Anonymous said...

if we wait for the tea industry to go out of business, the main beneficiaries are the ones that already got rich on the business and have bags full of cash after the demise of the industry. everyone else that didn't cash in will be the real victims.

it's not an uncommon feature in the history of sri lanka. how many of the mega-rich today made their money off of scamming the guvernment (people) on the mahaweli project or other government works? these people are now the rock stars of the business community, as riches are a measure of status in todays' money grubbing society, and aspirants seek to emulate their example of getting rich off of the back of the state.

it doesn't matter which party is in power, they have hangers on that cannot be denied on both sides.

Alva said...

This is cool!

Shazeer King said...

Guys, Im from kandy where refuse tea has been processed . I disagree with tea board. countrys like vietnam,china,iran kenya and even india is exporting refuse tea for various purposes. infact if you know CT which is the lowest quality of refuse tea is bought by couple of plantations like agarapathane to process and make tea tablets, powder and ICE TEA for international brands. if CT IS ALLOWED TO MAKE TEA PRODUCTS AND EXPORT, WHY CANT THEY LET REFUSE TEA TO BE EXPORTED ? EACH COUNTRY'S ECONOMY IS NOT SAME. SOME HAVE MONEY SOME NOT. BASED ON THERE ECONOMY BUYING POWER DIFFERS. THIS IS SIMPLE ECONOMY. WHEN IT COMES TO QUALITY THIS REFUSE TEA WILL FAIL ISO AND MICROBIAL TESTS. SO DOES CT WHICH USED FOR ICE TEA WILL ALSO FAIL BUT WHEN THEY BOIL IT THEY DONT JUST BOIL IT. THEY CALL IT COOKING THE TEA. THATS HOW THEY MAKE THERE TEA IN IRAQ. AFTER COOKING THE TEA IN HIGH TEMPERATURE IF YOU TEST THE LIQOUR OBIOUSLY ITS BETTER THAN MANY BEVERAGES IN THE MARKET. INFACT BETTER THAN ALL SOFTDRINKS LIKE PEPSI COKE OR BEER ALCHOHOLE YOU NAME IT. IF ANYONE IS SAYING REFUSE TEA CAN BREAK BLACK TEA MARKET, THATS BULLSHIT. INFACT IF YOU CAN BLEND BLACK TEA WITH CERTAIN PERCENTAGE OF REFUSE TEA , IT CAN CUT DOWN COST OF AN EXPORT BLEND AND WOULD GIVE A HARD TIME FOR OTHER COUNTRY TEAS. A REAL TEA BLENDER KNOWS HOW MUCH PERCENTAGE AN EXPORT BLEND CAN MIX REFUSE TEA WITHOUT LACK IN QUALITY AND WHEN THEY FLAVOUR THE BLEND , THE TEA WILL CUT THE COST, KEEP THE QUALITY SAME AND BRING PROFIT TO THE COUNTRY . PEOPLE DONT CARE ABOUT APEARENCE OF TEA WHEN ITS FLAVOURD TEA AND WHEN ITS IN TEA BAG AND FLAVOURD SIMPLY THE FLAVOURING WILL TAKE CARE OF THE AROMA OF THE TEA. ALL THIS BIG EXPORTERS LIKE AKBAR ANWARALI STASSENS IMPERIAL UNICOM EXPOLANKA ETC ET ALL EXPORTED REFUSE TEA ONCE AND EARNED HUGE PROFIT. AFTER THA ONLY THEY ESTABLISHED THERE GOOD BRANDS. NOW THEY ARE SITTING ON TOP LIKE INNOCENTS. TEA BOARD IS NOT AGAINST REFUSE TEA EXPORT BUT THEY SHOW A PICTURE LIKE REFUSE TEA IS POISON. REASON FOR THAT THE TEA BOARD WANTS TO HAVE A MONOPOLY EXPORT OF REFUSE TEA BYPRODUCTS SUCH AS ICETEA BY LIPTON AND OTHER PRODUCTS OF TEA TABLET AND TEA POWDER MADE BY AGARAPATHANE PLANTATIONS. THIS TEA POWDER IS BOUGHT BY PEPSI COMPANY TO TAKE COLOR INSTEAD OF CHEMICAL COLORING. THERS HUGE BEHIND THE SCENE IS GOING ONN WHERE THE MEDIA IS SOOO JUDGEMENTAL AND STUPID WHEN MAKING NEWS JUST FOR THERE MATERIALISTIC GAINS.

Pasan Peththawadu said...

Shazeer,
I may be late to comment as I saw your perception just after about an year. You seem recommending export of refused tea over authoritative manner and also you justify and compare Unilever's Agarapathana "Instant tea powder" with refused tea. Just to understand it by you, true that Agarapathana factory takes refused tea as the main raw material, but, you must know that they re-process through extensive processing steps to obtain Instant tea powder. After all, there are no dust or other hazzardous elements. But, see when refused tea is exported, it is directly consumed. You know in refused teas, there are ample of dusts and other foreign materials which can not be certified as tea. That is why it is called "Refused Tea". If your argument is right how can you separate real "orthodox tea" and "Refused tea". Quality of Ceylon tea can not be compromised with sub-standard products. Ceylon tea is the best tea in the world in terms of "Colour", taste, flavour and its aroma and also it is free of pesticide residues thanks to stringent measures guided by the Tea board and TRI.

Pasan Peththawadu

Ziad said...

Pasan,

I agree with your point of refused tea having foreign materials which cannot be called as tea. But when you analyze this matter further, you would understand that the refused teas are not being bought by tea traders directly, but they are being bought by the TPC's (Tea processing centers) where the refused teas are upgraded and sold from there to the traders. There are more than 100 TPCs registered under the tea board for this process. The tea board itself has given approval for the TPCs to do this process, and they have to renew there TPC license annually. There is a huge impact for Ceylon Tea in the future coz we are not allowed to export this upgraded refused tea. Generally, Ceylon tea is expensive and most of the developed countries afford to pay for our prices. On the other hand, we are losing the markets of countries which cannot pay more. Those markets are today being dominated by Kenya, India, Veitnam etc since they are allowed to export these so called Refused tea by the tea board. To clarify it further, everyone in the society cannot afford a BMW, some go for Toyata and some have a TUK TUK. Ceylon tea is catering only the BMW market, and the other tea producing markets are catering BMW, Toyata and etc. In the 90s the refused teas were sold in the tea auctions, whereas now it being called as poison unfortunately. Sri Lanka can mint money if they allow to export these upgraded refused teas, than putting it back to the soil, where you cannot even earn a cent for this country. There is a very big potential market in the world for this refused tea, and gradually the other tea producing countries are capturing it.

Zepharia Andres said...

Truth made you a traitor as it often does in a time of scoundrels. See the link below for more info.

#traitor
www.ufgop.org