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Episode 1 - The context of the global tea market : The current state of the tea industry

The world has gone through a significant change in how many things operate since 2020. While Covid played a major role in shaping our livelihood in 2020 and 2021, the mid and latter part of 2022 is experiencing the economic after effects of the covid lockdowns the world had to experience. Many economies and industries experienced significant inflation and shortfall in products/services. Some economies such as Sri Lanka fell into a deep economic recession with the inability to repay their loans which resulted in the country being bankrupt. Similarly, the other countries including many developed nations such as in Europe are experiencing incremental pressure.

The focus of this article is to provide a fair analysis on the current state of the tea industry. As stated above, the generic issue of economies experiencing severe downturn has resulted in markets not being able to cater to the needs of the market. As such markets have not been able to maintain an equilibrium in demand and supply. This was seen in the global tea market as well. We see that there is a big void for many tea products in todays market.

Additionally, we have also seen that the many tea producers have not been able to attend regular trade shows and business meetings as done prior to 2020. This has directly impacted many businesses involved in the tea market. The inability to travel for such events have resulted in lowering the opportunity they had to drive businesses. This is a similar practice that Tecpacking used to engage in. Tecpacking use to foster many relationships physically by attending many trade shows over the years. However as of late we have not been able to do so.

With these factors in play, people’s confidence in development has reduced significantly over the years which has resulted in reduced investment and reduced consumption. The rationale for this behavior is to ensure that businesses can firstly survive through the tough times and to excel when businesses pick up pace.

Another big development when analyzing the current tea market is the war between Ukraine and Russia. Both of these countries are key stakeholders of the tea market. The war has definitely had detrimental impact on the industry due to significant increase in costs particularly in energy prices. While the war results in more attention and focus on military spending, the exports to Russia has seen a drop. The lack of trust and other factors such as incapability to supply food to the global market like before has resulted in many poorer nations experiencing food shortages. With food shortages arising across the world the consumption of non essential items such as tea has reduced.

With the above mentioned factors, the tea industry is essentially in a tough space at the moment. The world will not be able to experience a growth in 2023. However the focus and drive of the stakeholders in the tea industry is to survive.

Thank you

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