International Tea Day May 21

International Tea Day - May 21

The origins of tea stretch back more than 5 000 years, but its contributions to health, culture and socioeconomic development are still as relevant today. Tea is currently grown in very localized areas, and supports over 13 million people, including smallholder farmers and their households, who depend on the tea sector for their livelihoods.

May 21 is designated by the United Nations as the International Tea Day. The aim is to promote and foster collective actions to implement activities in favour of the sustainable production and consumption of tea and raise awareness of its importance in fighting hunger and poverty in rural countries.

We take this opportunity to celebrate the cultural heritage, health benefits and economic importance of tea, while working to make its production sustainable “from field to cup” ensuring its benefits for people, cultures and the environment continue for generations.

Did you know?

  • Tea is one of the world’s oldest beverages and is the most consumed drink in the world, after water.
  • Tea is available in many varieties, which differ according to the applied oxidation and fermentation technique.
  • Tea cultivation provides employment and income to millions of smallholder growers, who are supplementing or even replacing production of larger tea estates in many countries.
  • While three quarters of tea produced is consumed domestically, tea is a widely traded commodity.
  • Over the past decades, the global tea industry has seen rapid growth, with a rising number of consumers globally.
  • Despite the increase of tea consumption in the major producing countries, per capita consumption remains low, suggesting there is still considerable growth potential in these countries.
  • China, Korea and Japan have four tea cultivation sites designated as Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Systems by Food and Agricultural Organisation of the United Nations.
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