First day of Global Dubai Tea Forum to place spotlight on growth opportunities, brand positioning and sustainable development

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DMCC, the world’s leading Free Zone for commodities trade and enterprise, is ready and set to host its 7th edition of the Global Dubai Tea Forum, themed ‘Brewing the Future of Trade’, where H.E. Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem, Group Chairman and CEO of DP World is to open the conference followed by speeches from Ahmed Bin Sulayem, Executive Chairman DMCC; and Dr. Sashi Tharoor, Former diplomat who served United Nations, rising to the rank of Under-Secretary General for Communications and Public Information, Former Minister of State for Human Resource Development and Minister of State for External Affairs, India.

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Tea is clearly a leader in the global beverages market, but it faces a continuous challenge in maintaining that position

DMCC, the world’s leading Free Zone for commodities trade and enterprise, is ready and set to host its 7th edition of the Global Dubai Tea Forum, themed ‘Brewing the Future of Trade’, where H.E. Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem, Group Chairman and CEO of DP World is to open the conference followed by speeches from Ahmed Bin Sulayem, Executive Chairman DMCC; and Dr. Sashi Tharoor, Former diplomat who served United Nations, rising to the rank of Under-Secretary General for Communications and Public Information, Former Minister of State for Human Resource Development and Minister of State for External Affairs, India.

Day 1 speeches and panel debate themes will centre around what the future holds for the tea industry globally whose beverage is the second most popular drink in the world with water in the top spot.

"Tea is clearly a leader in the global beverages market, but it faces a continuous challenge in maintaining that position," said Huzaifa Nalwala, a Senior Research Consultant at Mansci, a research and consulting company based in Dubai. Also one of the reasons why the conference will probe the question of how the tea industry should position itself in the global beverages market to ensure its continuing growth.

The first day of the conference will also see John Brash, Founder and Chief Executive of Brash Brands, give a presentation on ‘Developments Branding & Positioning Of the Tea Industry’ further exploring how the industry can further distinguish itself among a wide range of beverages available to consumers to ensure its enduring popularity and ongoing growth.

Another hot topic up for debate is on the theme of UN Sustainable Development Goals - Partnering For Impact’ moderated by DMCC's sustainability expert, Iris Van Der Veken, Director – International Public Affairs. The tea industry provides a livelihood for millions of people throughout the world, particularly in the major tea-producing countries of India, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, Kenya, China, Mozambique and Indonesia. Yet the industry, and the farmers and workers who rely on it for their livelihoods, are facing the deleterious effects of climate change as rainfall declines and rising temperatures reduce yields.

As a result, initial research indicates that tea growing regions could decline in some parts of the world by up to half in the coming decades, while qualities, especially for high-end teas, are set to face large changes. Climate change is changing the way tea is produced and the quality of tea, and consumers are noticing the change in quality. Improved irrigation, shade management, mulching and technology all help, but are they enough?

Dr Ravi Fernando, Chairman and CEO, Global Strategic Corporate Sustainability Pvt. Ltd, who will be taking part in the panel discussion, said: "Global warming and its resultant impact, climate change, are causing havoc on tea and all agricultural crops. Extreme weather incidents have moved up from around 250 events per annum in the 1990s to 450 events per annum in the 2000s, disrupting all supply chains.”

"Unless we recognize this fact and proactively take steps to urgently move to renewables, reforest, harvest the rain, and protect our soils and waterways, the tea industry will face unprecedented crises. The writing is on the wall with most tea-producing nations already experiencing declining crop and disruptions due to flooding and storms.”

The Global Dubai Tea Forum is expecting delegates from around 30 countries who will be looking into the challenges facing the trade to unlock solutions, as well as serving as a crucial business and networking venue. With the global tea business recording continuous growth, and new types of flavoured and specialty teas creating new business opportunities and growing export figures for the world's main tea producers, the Global Dubai Tea Forum provides a critical role in connecting people from across the globe and the entire tea industry.

For more information and to register for the Global Dubai Tea Forum 24-26 April 2018, at The Address Hotel, Dubai Marina, please visit: http://globaldubaiteaforum.ae

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Henriette Svensen
DMCC
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