‘Chami’ tea to develop US value added market

By Steve A. Morrell

‘We have won an outstanding award for our tea. The President of this country bestowed on us the prestige of awarding this citation . It has been a hard but adventurous road that we travelled. We have not reached our peak. For that matter I do not think there is such a thing as ‘peak’. What there is, is that we strive to reach what ever goals we set and try to better our own performances, said President Ceylon Royal Teas (Pvt) Ltd., Jaliya Wickramasuriya recently.

He said Ceylon Royal Teas Ltd., was started in 1999, and since then the Company has grown. But he also paid tribute to experience gained having worked in similar environment with companies who exported value added tea.

He said the ‘Chami’ brand was developed to ensure the US market could be tapped and to expose the Brand to leading super market chains.

Market strategy was also concentrated on upper end marketing exposing ‘Chami’, to a broader clientele. Image building of the Brand was done in a highly competitive atmosphere. To build and maintain competitive edge was essential he said; but More importantly sustained quality and product consistency were pre-essentials to enter the US market.

Over the past few years he had concentrated on value addition, and his award was in recognition of outstanding application to achieving his goal of producing an international product of prestige and value, he said.

He said he maintained standards that constantly qualified for Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) certification. Additionally he also maintained ISO 9001- 2000 standards, which helped in quality management systems to ensure his products met stringent standards demanded at international destinations.

Value addition was Ceylon Royal Teas’ main marketing strategy. ‘Not least that although we produce the best tea in the world, unless we present our product as attractively as possible it would not stand much chance compared to other brands breaking into our markets’.

He said he had warehouse space in Atlanta, Georgia and his further expansion plans included more shelf space in other recognised States as well.

He said value addition was key to exports, and more so tea exports. Additionally value added tea stood intense exposure to competition, especially in the US. Consumers were constantly alert to quality, and drop in product line was instantly picked up and resistance built almost immediately, he said.

His products would be delivered within ensured time frames. Hitherto he had not encountered any delivery problems and expected that in future too he would not have to encounter similar cargo exit problems.

He said that Ceylon tea had approximately 250 varieties which could be marketed through garden marks, and also elevation specific varieties and to appeal to individual tastes. Possibilities explored were also that Tea demand could be fashioned to ensure prestige of Brands, and varieties could build brands, and branding which is now a phenomenon of marketing, could be projected to ensure stable market conditions in the US. Regular selling to US markets are invariably what is looked at by Sri Lankan exporters.

He said that the award he had earned was the result of factory audits and other checks which ensured that the awards he had earned were of further value projecting 4 brand names handled by him under the ‘Chami’ Brand.

He said his company had a web site as well and most details were available for selling purposes and buyers usually adhered to this medium of trade as well he said.

Sold in tin caddies having contents of 50 tea bags each tin, these tine are attractively presented could stand re-use in any pantry or kitchen to store appropriate household storage items.




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