Category : Country : Sri Lanka

Small-scale tea producers in Sri Lanka

small_scale producers_Sri_Lanka

In the south of Sri Lanka there are many small-scale producers who grow tea and then sell the fresh leaves to one of the local factories. For them, tea represents one source of income among others, and they are not economically dependent on the price if it falls. They are tied by a yearly contract with a guaranteed price. They choose the factory they want to work with, and the factory is responsible for collecting the leaves. It is a fair system.


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Evocative tea plantations

Evocative tea plantations - Discovering Tea

Nothing looks less like a tea plantation than another tea plantation. Here, in the south of Sri Lanka, tea bushes occupy the hills beside a paddy field and other different crops. Hence these subtle and evocative tones of green and yellow.


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Small plantation in the south of Sri Lanka

From one country to another, one region to another, the organisation of tea production varies. Sometimes I visit huge plantations that cover whole mountainsides. But many independent farmers grow their own tea plants around their house, like here in the south of Sri Lanka.


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The tea harvest in the south of Sri Lanka

Sometimes the people who harvest tea don’t have the necessary equipment to process the leaves. In this case, they sell their crop to another farmer who is able to process it.
This is what happens in the south of Sri Lanka, where each tea factory dispatches vehicles to collect bags from small producers.


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Magnificent Sri Lankan landscape

For those lucky enough to visit the beautiful country of Sri Lanka, this is the type of landscape found around the Sinharaja reserve in the south of the island.
This is the region where the low-grown teas are found, including the most famous, New Vithanakande.


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The author

François-Xavier Delmas is a passionate globetrotter. He’s been touring the world’s tea plantations for more than 20 years in search of the finest teas. As the founder of Le Palais des Thés, he believes that travelling is all about discovering world cultures. From Darjeeling to Shizuoka, from Taiwan to the Golden Triangle, he invites you to follow his trips as well as share his experiences and emotions.

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