The Food and Agriculture Organization’s (FAO) inter-governmental group (IGG) on tea will meet for its 23rd session at Hangzhou, China, from May 17-20.
The UN expert panel on tea has requested Indonesia and India to conceptualize and propose the structure, composition, roles and functions of an international tea group.
During the last inter-sessional meeting of the group in 2017, the Confederation of International Tea Smallholder was introduced to include consumer countries and get support from all stakeholders and value chains, from the field to the cup.
The headquarters of the confederation will be also finalized in the 2018 China meet.
The inter-governmental group (IGG) represents a forum for consultation and exchange on trends in production, consumption, trade and prices of tea, including regular appraisal of the global market situation and short-term outlook.
Nearly 2.5 lakh small growers are cultivating tea in India, contributing 46 per cent of production.
Globally, the small tea growers cover 70 per cent of the plantation area and produce 60 per cent of the global production volume. Smallholders represent the major part of the tea sub-sector across producing countries with high growth rates in the past decades, even in countries where gardens owned by big companies are still of significance.
Indonesia’s Rachmat Badruddin, chairman of the working group on smallholders, will brief on the progress of the group.
At its 22nd session and the inter-sessional meeting last year, the group highlighted major socio-economic challenges faced by smallholders in most producer countries. The group raised the need to help such efforts with socio-economic studies assessing the welfare and livelihoods of tea smallholders to achieve sustainability.