Basking in first success, Bett said for the first time Tanzania’s tea was bought from Tanzania’s own warehouse established for that purpose.
“This warehouse will help the Tanzanian Tea Producers have an easy Platform for offering their teas through the well-established and internationally recognized Mombasa Tea Auction,” he said, adding that it will also offer more advantages to Local Tea Producers especially the Small to Medium indigenous Producers. Hence better competitive Prices and lower selling & distribution losts like transport & logistics resulting to better returns to the farmers.
The CEO said the established warehouse tea tasting facility also acts as a point of quality assurance, standardization and capacity building through quality comparison with high quality marks and will help the small Producers to improve and standardize their produce to internationally acceptable tea standards.
Bett said the company sent to Mombasa tea samples only from the warehouse, “and big buyers nodded in approval. They appreciated the quality of Tanzanian tea and bought a total of six hundred tones. It is our success --- as a company and as Tanzania,” he said in a very relaxed mood of success.
Only last month, Dr David Langat the Executive Chairman announced in Nairobi his company’s determination to make Tanzania, Africa’s tea growing and marketing hub in the next few years, saying Tanzania has highly competitive tea and a huge potential of increasing tea production.
Referring to Monday sales, the chairman said buyers at the Mombasa auction had justified their company’s dream. He mentioned that the Teas were absorbed by buyers for the UK, Russia,Middle east, Egypt, South Africa and Sudan markets amongst others. Some of the Teas purchased were done on a follow-up basis after the auction, hence buyers rushed to the selling Brokers to fill up their consignments lying in Dar es Salaam warehouse for ease of logistics.
“This is saving the Tanzania Producer the cost of Transporting the Tea to Mombasa and having the Tea in Mombasa warehouse awaiting sale at the same time giving the Producers access to the Brokers services at the auction,” he said.
He thanked the government for supporting the initiative and commended the cooperation between their company and the Tanzania Tea Board. He said there was strong cooperation between the board and their company adding: “this cooperation is bearing fruits.”
The Chairman requested for more collaboration between two governments to shorten the time it takes for Teas to Move from Dar es Salaam to Mombasa.
“This calls for creation of a single Window for Tea which will make Border clearance easier and faster. The same should apply to Teas being shipped through Dar es salaam Port,” Dr Langat explained.
According to the chairman, Burundi,Rwanda and Malawi tea growers have shown their interest in using Dar es Salaam warehouse and tea testing room to Market their teas.
The chairman also appealed to the government to remove logistical barriers so that tea from the three countries can flow freely to the Dar es Salaam warehouse for onward auctioning.
The Ministry of Agriculture has designated tea as one of the eight key traditional cash crops alongside cotton, pyrethrum, cashew nut, sisal, sugar, coffee and tobacco.
The ministry said tea production in 2018/2019 year was expected to increase thus a need to improve on quality of the Greenleaf and made tea, market access and cost reduction which will result in better performance of the tea sector which is a major foreign income earner to the government and a major source of employment.