The United Nations (UN) International Tea Day is annually observed on 21st May globally to promote the ways to sustain the production and consumption of tea across the globe and also to learn the significance of tea in combating hunger and poverty.
- International Tea Day also provides an opportunity for tea-producing countries, international organisations, governments and tea enthusiasts to collaborate and exchange knowledge and experiences related to tea production, trade and consumption.
- The day is observed by the Food and Agriculture Organisations (FAO) of the UN in collaboration with other relevant Organisations.
i. Since 2005, prior to the UN’s resolution, tea-producing countries like India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Nepal, Indonesia, Kenya, Malaysia, , Malawi, Tanzania, Vietnam and Uganda came together to celebrate International Tea Day on 15th December.
ii. The first International Tea day was celebrated in New Delhi, Delhi in December 2005.
iii. In 2015, the Indian government submitted a proposal to the FAO Intergovernmental Group (IGG) on Tea, which leads worldwide activities to advance the world tea industry and played a key role in the establishment of International Tea Day.
On 19th December 2019, the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) adopted the Resolution A/RES/74/241 and designated 21 May of every year as International Tea Day.
- The first official UN-sanctioned International Tea Day was held on May 21st, 2020.
i. Tea is the world’s most consumed drink, after water, and is believed that tea originated in northeast India, north Myanmar and southwest China.
ii. Tea is an aromatic beverage prepared withCamellia sinensis plant.
iii. Tea production and processing constitutes a main source of livelihoods for millions of families in developing countries.
iv. Tea, being one of the most important cash crops, plays a vital role in rural development, poverty reduction and food security in developing countries.
Tea production and SDGs:
i. Tea production and processing contributes towards achieving UNs Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which are as follows:
SDG 1: The reduction of extreme poverty
SDG 2: To the fight against hunger Sustainable Development Goal
SDG 5: The empowerment of women
SDG 15: The sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems
Tea and climate change:
i. Tea can only be produced in narrowly defined agro-ecological conditions, in a very limited number of countries which are heavily impacted by climate change.
ii. The production and qualityof the tea are highly impacted by the changes in temperature and rainfall patterns, floods and droughts. This lowers the income and a poses threat to rural livelihoods.
Tea-producing countries are advised to integrate climate change challenges, both on the adaptation and mitigation front, into their national tea development strategies to contribute to climate change mitigation.
About Food and Agriculture Organisations (FAO):
Director-General– QU Dongyu
Headquarters– Rome, Italy