Tea World

Lesson 29

Organic tea in China

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Presently, China is the world’s largest producers of organic green tea. The domestic market is growing rapidly in China and has a domestic market in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and other big cities. China is exporting organic tea to Japan, the Europe and the United States. The area under organic farming systems was 1,78, 000 ha according to the data from Ministry of Agriculture in 2015. Compared to 5 years ago the organic tea area 99, 800 ha (in 2010), it was increased by 78 percent. Almost all organic tea exported is certified according to EU and NOP (National Organic Programme of the United States Department of Agriculture) regulations. There were total 1 950 certificates issued for organic tea production and processing by the domestic organic food certification bodies in 2016 (excluding the certificates issued by foreign certification bodies). Organic tea is mainly produced in Yunnan, Sichuan, Zhejiang, Guangxi, Hubei, Guizhou, Anhui, Jiangxi and Hunan Provinces.

Organic tea produced in China is mainly consumed domestically. About 1/3 is exported to foreign countries. It is reported that there are about 20 countries imported organic tea from China. The large importing countries includes Netherland, Germany, United States, Japan, England, Canada and Denmark. Due to the certificates issued by Chinese Certification bodies and foreign certifications bodies are not recognized each other. Therefore, part of organic tea certificated by Chinese certification bodies was exported as non-organic tea.

Though organic tea is mainly domestically consumed, a survey showed that 70 percent of tea consumers had never heard of organic tea, only 5 percent of consumers have drunk organic tea. But in big cities, such as Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzhen, the awareness of organic tea is much better. For instance, 67 percent of tea consumers know organic tea and 15 percent of them has drunk organic tea in Beijing.

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