FAO: The tea sector needs greater sustainability


As the world celebrates International Tea Day 2022, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) has highlighted the need for greater economic, social, and environmental sustainability in the tea sector. Qu Dongyu, FAO Director-General, said the tea industry needs to achieve greater sustainability, from tea leaf to cup.
"The tea sector contributes to socio-economic development, representing a major source of employment and income for millions of poor families, yet it faces a number of challenges," Qu said.
Tea generates productive jobs and empowers individuals, especially women and their communities. Global tea production amounts to over US$17 billion annually. In comparison, the world tea trade is estimated at $9.5 billion, accounting for an essential source of export earnings.
FAO's work on tea is committed to achieving a sustainable tea sector. The agency said the tea sector could play an essential role in improving lives and restoring the livelihoods of millions affected by the successive shocks of the past two years. Activities include developing knowledge products and providing data on tea markets and trade, medium-term projections for the world tea market, and policy-relevant information on the sector.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, the demand for tea saw a substantial increase, spurred by purchases for in-home consumption. Market information collected by the FAO Intergovernmental Group on Tea (IGG/Tea) showed that tea consumption expanded in all markets, even those that recorded a declining trend in per capita consumption over recent years.
The data also showed a surge in demand for tea among young people. The surveys highlighted that young people rediscovered their love for tea during the lockdown due to the hydration benefits and the "feel good" factor. (Image from Unsplash)

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