DMCC Now Handles 53 Million Kilos of Tea Per Year, Reports 29 Per Cent CAGR as World Trade Gathers at 7th Global Dubai Tea Forum 2018

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Representing all segments of the tea supply chain, more than 450 international delegates, a 39 per cent increase in attendance from the previous event, descended on Dubai for the event’s seventh edition.

Ahmed Bin Sulayem, Executive Chairman, DMCC

The DMCC Tea Centre is internationally recognised as a centre of excellence for the industry and has helped secure the position of the United Arab Emirates as a valuable export route for the majority of the tea producing nations,” said Ahmed Bin Sulayem, Executive Chairman, DMCC

DMCC, the world’s leading Free Zone for commodities trade and enterprise, hosted the first day of its two day Global Dubai Tea Forum at The Address Dubai Marina, under the theme of “Brewing the Future of Trade".

Representing all segments of the tea supply chain, more than 450 international delegates, a 39 per cent increase in attendance from the previous event, descended on Dubai for the event’s seventh edition, and to take part in expert analysis on the current state of the global tea industry, as well as debate the challenges set to define its future.

“DMCC is a market-maker, facilitators of trade, and a hub for the flow of commodities around the world, and through Dubai. The DMCC Tea Centre is internationally recognised as a centre of excellence for the industry and has helped secure the position of the United Arab Emirates as a valuable export route for the majority of the tea producing nations,” said Ahmed Bin Sulayem, Executive Chairman, DMCC.

“Our state-of-the-art Tea Centre handles 53 million kilos of tea annually, and we are confident our market share will remain consistent for the foreseeable future,” he added.

According to Euromonitor International, the Middle East and Africa region will account for 11% of the total global retail value by 2022, growing at a 5% rate over the same period of time. In the UAE alone, Euromonitor International estimates that the tea market will be worth USD 70 million in 2018.

“Few people outside this region would have predicted that the DMCC Tea Centre would grow to handle over 53 million kilos of tea in just over a decade. Today we see over 100 brands of tea being packed at their facility in Jebel Ali, facilitating the trade of tea to international buyers worldwide, with tea being processed there from 13 countries!” said keynote speaker Mohammed Al Muallem, CEO & MD UAE Region DP World & CEO JAFZA.

“Creating a successful tea marketplace derived from listening to market needs, delivering smart and efficient solutions to market participants, – and leveraging existing infrastructure such as our world-class port, and Dubai’s unrivalled global connectivity,” he added.

“The global story today is that tea like other commodities is facing some challenges in prices, exports and tea plantation with rising wedges. The challenges which will have the greatest impact in the tea industry are not challenges applied to the tea industry alone, but indeed represent global concern that have come to typify the twenty first century, weather is the changeling pattern in land use or climate induced extreme weather events that put tea production at risk,” said Dr. Shashi Tharoor, Former UN diplomat and famed author on the eve of the conference as the guest of honour at closed event for delegates.

“While the challenges that face the tea industry are indeed substantial, I believe the opportunities to resolve them, and in some ways to reinvent the tea trade, are very much there. They require the collective might of tea industry, from stakeholders across the supply chain, and with legislative support from governments, I would hope that we can actually drive sustainable change right from the cup of English Breakfast Tea, to a consumer sitting in London, all the way to the tea pluckers in the plantations,” he added.

The breath of sessions on day one was reflective of the wide spectrum of delegates in attendance with panel groups titled: ‘Developments in Branding & Positioning of Tea Industry’; ‘Share of Throat’; ‘Preferences & Perspectives of a Brewing Pot’; ‘Climate Change and its impact on the Tea Industry’; ‘UN Sustainable Development Goals - Partnering for Impact’; ‘Producing Countries - Growth, Challenges & Opportunities’.

Delegates had the chance over lunch to compete with one another by entering The Golden Leaf India Awards, an engaging tea tasting competition before preparations were made for event signature’s gala dinner in the ballroom of The Address Dubai Marina.

The focus of day two will be the search of solutions for sustainable filter paper, value addition in the tea industry and to overcome challenges to meet demand in 2050.

For more information on the Global Dubai Tea Forum can be found on the official event website: http://www.globaldubaiteaforum.ae.

Notes to Editors

Dr. Ravi Fernando, Chairman & CEO, Global Strategic Corporate Sustainability Pvt Ltd. and Executive in Residence at the INSEAD Social Innovation Centre, moderated the panel discussion on Climate Change and its impact on the Tea Industry – “Sustainability can, and must, play a key role in the tea industry globally. It must embed sustainability practises in its agricultural methods. It must implement renewable energy, rainwater harvesting and other strategies. Climate change is set to have an increasing impact on the tea business, so it is vital that producer countries understand this and implement changes now in order to ensure their tea-growing future.”

Anil Cooke, President/CEO, Asia Siyaka Commodities PLC, speaking on the panel discussion on Producing Countries - Growth, Challenges & Opportunities – “The tea trade has to identify and recognise the challenges that we are facing. Tea demand is rising and we have to be able to meet the challenge of providing supply. These include climate change, urban migration away from the countryside which is reducing labour available for tea farming, and rising wages. Producer states must find a way to deal with these supply chain challenges in a way that enables tea supply to grow because tea is vital food product for some of the poorest people in the world. The future has already arrived and we must deal with these issues. It is important to state that there cannot be a trickle down effect: there has to be an equitable distribution so that all parts of the supply chain benefit.”

Bala Sarda, CEO & Founder, Vahdam Teas – “We have identified ways in which technology can change the tea industry supply chain,” he said. “We are an Indian online company and we are using technology to shorten the supply chain and make it more efficient. We source directly from the farmers, and then process, pack and deliver directly to consumers in the United States and Europe. This cuts out the middlemen which saves time and costs. We are a farm to customer company which is leveraging technology to take the tea industry forward and provide tea quickly and efficiently.”

John Brash, CEO & Founder, Brash – "Gen Y are culturally diverse and like to experiment. They are healthy and like water and juices and focus on wellness and want healthy products, so tea fits in with this. They stay away from products with additives. They are media savvy and demand complete transparency. They can find out where the tea is from and how it is grown. They consult with friends. If you make claims make sure it is true because they will find out if it isn’t.”

Huzaifa Nalwala, Senior Research Consultant, ManSci Professional Services – “Tea is seeing a higher rate of global growth than juices, coffee, and carbonated drinks. Tea is seeing annual growth of 2.8% and is expected to behigher in the future. By 2021, there will be an extra 31 billion litres of tea drunk annually from 266 billion litres currently per year. Tea will see high growth because of its popularity in countries like India and China which will see expansion because of their huge populations.”

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Henriette Svensen
DMCC
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