European Union Scheming to Block Indonesian Tea

Tuesday, 05 December 2017 , 15:00:00 WIB -

Workers are seen picking tea with their scissors for plantation company PT Perkebunan Nusantara (PTPN) VIII Kebun Goalpara in Sukabumi, Jawa Barat, Monday (20/11). (ANTARA)

JAKARTA, GRES.NEWS – After palm oil, the European Union is now scheming to block Indonesian tea. Export of Indonesian tea has already fallen into a downtrend as a result.

Indonesia is not sitting still and has sent delegates from the government and stakeholders to a four-day advocacy mission in Europe called Indonesia Tea Trade Mission (ITTM).

The delegates will visit Hamburg, London and Brussels to convince the block of European countries to end the ban. "The tea advocacy mission targets to have the ban of tea import from Indonesia lifted," said Oke Nurwan, Directorate General of Trade, Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

In their agenda, the delegates will meet stakeholders of the Tea & Herbal Infusion Europe (THIE) and seek cooperation in researching tea samples from Indonesia with Eurofins Scientific di Hamburg, Germany.

"The delegates will also consult with the European Commission Directorate General for Health and Food Safety (DG SANTE) in Brussels, Belgium," Nurwan said.

They will present scientific evidence conducted by the Goods Quality Research Center of the Ministry of Trade in cooperation with Institut Teknologi Bandung (ITB) that proves the anthraquinone residue level in dry tea that is tolerable for human consumption is 0.2 mg/kg, which is loser than the European Commission’s benchmark.

"The government has conducted scientific research that proves the anthraquinone residue level in dry tea that is tolerable for human consumption is 0.2 mg/kg and thus the European Commission’s Regulation No.1146/2014 is too tight," Nurwan said.

The mission will also form a focus group discussion with the International Tea Committee, tea packaging companies, tea retailers and tea specialty shops to exchange views and to strengthen Indonesia’s network within tea communities in London.

"Our agenda in this activity is to increase the market share of Indonesian tea," Nurwan said.
Indonesia is one of the ten leading tea producers globally. The industry employs numerous workers in the country. At least 500,000 Indonesians depend their job from the industry. (dtc/rm)