Iran exports expired tea for industrial use

Baku, Azerbaijan, Feb. 13‎

By Gazenfer Hamidov – Trend:

Iranian administration has recently permitted Iran Tea Organization to export some part of stored expired tea, Mohammad Vali Rouzbehan, the organization’s head said.

Iran has recently exported 3,000 tons of its stored expired tea through tender for industrial uses, Rouzbehan said, the country’s media outlets reported.

Iran has been storing thousands tons of domestic tea in warehouses since the 2000's, because it wasn't popular among Iranians, who didn't like its taste. The stored tea, after 7-8 years, was sold at very low prices at various tenders, and which should mostly used as compost and fertilizer.

There were about 30,000 tons of stored tea, remaining from 2000-2003 years, Rouzbehan said, adding that after exporting the recent cargo, the remaining 27,000 tons of expired tea is kept in sealed warehouses, which will be offered for export through tenders gradually.

Earlier in 2014, some Iranian media outlets reported the local merchants found bought the outdated tea, export it to the UAE, and after mixing it with some flavour supplements, re-import it back to Iran as "high quality foreign tea".

Tea is cultivated in Iran’s northern provinces of Gilan and Mazandaran where 50,000 families earn their living from tea farming on more than 25,000 hectares of fields.

Based on official statistics, Iran accounts for some four percent of the world's total tea consumption.

Some 31,000 tons of tea is produced in Iran per year, of which 7,500 tons is reportedly consumed in the domestic market.

Iran is the second biggest market for Sri Lanka’s tea exports that grabs 14 percent of the total tea exports from this island nation. Iran buys the highest amount of teas from Colombo comprising 48 percent of its market share of the total 80,000 tons tea imports to Iran.

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