The objective of celebrating International Tea Day is to raise awareness of the long history of tea around the world. Plus it helps to understand the deep cultural and economic significance of tea in the countries that produce tea.
The important goal of observing this day is to promote and encourage collective actions to do such activities in favor of the sustainable production and consumption of tea and raise awareness regarding the importance of tea and people who are fighting hunger and poverty.
Since 2005, December 15, International Tea Day is celebrated in countries like India, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Vietnam, Indonesia, Bangladesh, Malawi, Malaysia, Uganda, Kenya, and Tanzania, since these are the tea producing countries. This also helps to draw the global attention of citizens and governments on the impact of global tea traders on growers and workers. And this has been linked to the requests of those who grow and work for price supports and fair trade.
Let us see who the main architects behind this initiative were.
- P Muthulingam from Sri Lanka (the Executive Director of Institute of Social Development)
- M Subbu (New Trade Union Initiative)
- A Ramaiha (Red Flag union- Sri Lanka)
- Shatardu Chattopadhayay (CEC)
- Samir Roy (HMS)
- Ashok Ghosh (UTUC) and
- Paramasivam (INTUC)
These were the ones who started the celebration by proposing it in the World Social Forum in the year 2005, January. The very first International Tea Day was celebrated in New Delhi, India in the year 2005. Later this was organized in Sri Lanka in 2006 and 2008.
Trade Union movements organize the International Tea Day celebrations and other related Global Tea Conferences.
In the year 2015, the Indian government proposed the idea of expanding the observance of International Tea Day through the FAO Intergovernmental Group on Tea (IGG on Tea). The FAO IGG on Tea charges the multilateral efforts to support the tea economy globally. It has been a great supporter of the decree of International Tea Day.
The IGG on Tea discussed the idea of an International Tea Day during a meeting in Milan, Italy in 2005. This proposal was then inscribed by the UN General Assembly in 2019, December.
Let us know something about FOA IGG on Tea
The FAO Intergovernmental Group (IGG) on Tea represents a forum for intergovernmental consultation and exchange on trends in production, consumption, trade, and prices of tea. It also includes a regular appraisal of the global market situation and short term outlook. The Group, under FAO controls, considers changes in national policies and examines its international effects as pertaining to the current and prospective market situation.
Increasingly, technical side events are organized in conjunction with the IGG to facilitate a dialogue between FAO delegates, international policymakers, and the private sector. Linkages with other international organizations and commodity bodies are encouraged.
Membership in the Group is open to all Member Nations and Associate Members of FAO, including Observers from international organizations and institutions. Nearly all importing and exporting countries of tea are Members of the IGG.