2023 International Tea Day Fair Puts Laos’ Tea Industry in Spotlight

The 2023 International Tea Day Fair Puts Laos’ Tea Industry in The Spotlight
French Ambassador to Laos Siv-Leng Chhuor, and other members during the festival. ( Photo : Mekong )

The Lao Department of Agriculture (DoA) led the celebration of International Tea Day in Laos. This year, the three-day event aims to enhance the reputation of Lao tea as a high-quality product and establish a strong image of tea in Laos as well as encourage friendly competition and recognition among the local tea community.

The Mekong Tea Project implemented by DOA – leads the organization of the Fair, gathering together tea farmers, producers, industry professionals, consumers, and other stakeholders from around the country.

This is to recognize the importance of tea in the daily lives of Lao people and the potential it has to reduce poverty and create economic opportunities in the country. Lao teas can be a source of environmental sustainability, economic development, and a way to build resilient communities.

By celebrating the Lao tea industry, and its specific links to environmental preservation, we can promote its potential to have a positive impact on people and the planet.

To officially open the Fair, the Minister of Agriculture and Forestry, Dr. Phet Phomphiphack made an opening remark. Alongside Dr. Phomphipack was Siv-Leng Chhuor, Ambassador of France to Laos, who spoke about the French government’s continued support of Lao sustainable agriculture value chains.

Participants at the fair included representatives of the Agence Française de
Développement (AFD), which is funding the Mekong Tea Project, the European Union Delegation to Laos and national and international organizations.

“Despite favorable growing conditions and market proximity in China, to reach its full potential, the tea sector faces many challenges. In particular, farmers have still limited knowledge and skills about tea processing, and they’re not promoted enough to export tea. Through this event, we aim at bringing all tea value chain actors together to promote Lao tea’s image and sales” by Dr. Phet Phomphiphack, Minister of Agriculture and Forestry.

“We hope that this fair will help promote the Lao tea culture and the quality of teas across the country. The specificities of Lao tea, often produced in forested ecosystems by small-scale farmers, are to be preserved and scaled-up. We are convinced that the development of the tea value chain has a great potential to empower smallholder farmers, shed light on Lao culture, while preserving the environment,” he added.

Tea producers and exporters are coming from all-over Laos celebrate this important day. Producers and companies from Bokeo, Xayabouri, Phongsaly, Champasack, Houapanh Provinces display their products, representing the diversity and uniqueness of their tea terroirs. Amongst these was the Meung Tea Producers Cooperative, based in Meung District, in Bokeo.

With the support of the Mekong Tea Project, the Cooperative recently obtained the Organic EU Certification, which will allow its members to produce certified tea aiming at reaching the European markets. DOA and the French Development Agency handed-over the newly obtained certification during the Opening Ceremony.

“I am confident that the tea promotion events like this one today will encounter the same success. I wish the International Tea Day would soon be registered as one of the annual main events of the domestic and international promotional agenda of the Laos,” said Siv-Leng Chhuor, Ambassador of France to Laos.

The 2023 International Tea Day Fair Puts Laos' Tea Industry in the Spotlight.
Person pouring out tea. ( Photo : Mekong )

More than 1000 public visitors joined over the 3-days event and discovered different tea blends from various provinces of Laos. During the Fair, visitors also enjoyed an artistic photo exhibition that depicted tea cultivation systems across Laos.