Call given by CISTA, Jalpaiguri, West Bengal
International Tea Day (ITD) is celebrated in different tea growing parts of the world since 2005. ITD was started in response to the crisis in tea industry during 1998, especially during serial closure of several Estate Gardens, extremely low green leaf prices for small tea growers and continuous fall of tea prices in the international market. This has made all STGs and Tea Garden Workers and consumers to come together and observe ITD on Dec 15 across the globe to send a message on solidarity to all stake holders of tea value chain.
It is also an affirmation by the tea producers all over the world their role in developing & sustaining the tea industry that serves the best health drink to every corner of the world through Tea garden Workers hard work and commitment.
The First ITD was held at New Delhi India in 2005 in an assembly of small growers and tea workers from Sri Lanka, India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Vietnam, Uganda, Kenya, Malawi, Tanzania, Zambia, Malaysia and Indonesia. The 2nd ITD was observed in Sri Lanka in 2006 in Kandy with a mass rally of tea workers. Since then, tea workers, small growers and other stakeholders in tea industry observe ITD all over the world. The International Tea Day observations and deliberations have significantly contributed towards the International Alliance and brought forth the attention of respective national governments to address issues in the tea sector.
In India, STGs contribute more than 26% of tea production and this contribution is increasing every day. As a result, Tea Board of India (TBI) is creating separate directorate for STGs and this demand was raised in the platform ITD. Various ITDs have raised the key issues of remunerative prices of small tea growers and internvention by the governments of the world in the movement of commodity prices to prevent detrimental fall in tea prices.
Observance of ITD has contributed to the heightened the sense of collectivisation among small tea growers in India and strengthened Confederation of Indian Small Tea Growers Associations in India (CISTA) as the representative body of small tea growers in India.
This year, on the occasion of the seventh International tea day (ITD), we small tea growers and workers once again bring to the notice of tea consumers all over the world and the citizens of the world, that there is an inherent injustice in the allocation of benefits along the tea value chain and urge for more equitable value sharing.
We affirm the principles of sustainability, environmental consciousness and human rights. We stand by our determination to improve the quality of green leaf and to adopt environmentally sensitive agricultural practices and methods.
We caution the governments of the tea producing countries of world, in the context of increasing free trade agreements among developing countries as well as between developing and developed countries, that special care should be taken to protect the rights of small tea growers, already among the lowest in the standard of living indices.
Observe this ITD with great enthusiasm and spread the light of awareness to the farthest corner of all tea growing areas. This light will burn collusion, exploitation and callousness and it will empower STG and Tea Garden Workers towards better life and livelihood through serving quality tea.
Join this call…Observe International Tea Day