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FAO urges more social, environmental sustainability in tea sector

FAO urges more social, environmental sustainability in tea sector
Wednesday 25 May , 2022
By Marwa Nassar - -

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 and its key role in empowering women and youth for improved food security and nutrition.

This came as the world marks the International Tea Day 2022.

“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,” FAO Director-General QU Dongyu said in an address for the celebration. He said the tea sector “needs to achieve greater sustainability, from tea leaf to cup.”

“Environmental sustainability involves the use of innovation and production methods that preserve resources for the future.” Sustainability also “needs to capture the social side of the sector, by empowering women and youth and ensuring that production throughout the value chain is respectful of social norms and standards,” the Director-General added.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the demand for tea saw a strong 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 showed a surge in the 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.

FAO has underlined that the tea sector can play an important role in improving lives and restoring the livelihoods of millions who have been impacted by the successive shocks of the past two years. 

Global tea production amounts to over $17 billion annually, while world tea trade is estimated at about $9.5 billion, accounting for an important source of export earnings. Tea generates productive jobs and empowers individuals, especially women and their communities.

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