‘Chami’ tea to develop US value
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
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
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