LAST Monday Tanzania sold 600 tonnes (600,000 kgs) of tea at its Dar es Salaam City’s Mombasa Tea Auction ex- RVTS warehouse recently established by DL Group of Companies, the DL Group Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Mr Stephen Bett said yesterday.
Mr Bett said it is first time in history for Tanzania to sell the crop from its own warehouse and built by the locals.
“This warehouse will help the country’s tea producers to have a good and reliable platform to market the crop through the well-established and internationally recognised Mombasa Tea Auction,” he added.
The CEO further said that it will also offer the locals advantages to keep on producing more, especially the small and medium indigenous producers, adding: “and hence ensure them better competitive prices, sales, and distribution as well as transport and logistics, which result into better returns to the farmers.”
Mr Bett noted that the established warehouse will act as a point of quality assurance, standardisation and capacity building, by offering quality comparison for high quality marks.
“It will help the small producers to improve and standardise their produce to internationally acceptable tea standards,” he further pointed out.
Mr Bett said his company sent also to Mombasa Tea Kenya based some samples from the warehouse and the country’s big buyers nodded in approval.
“They appreciated the quality of Tanzanian tea and bought a total of 600 tonnes. It is our success…as a company and as Tanzania,” he added.
Earlier, last month, the DL Group of Companies Executive Chairman, Dr David Langat announced, while in Nairobi that his company was determined to make Tanzania, Africa’s tea growing and marketing hub in the next few years.
He further said that Tanzania has a high competitive tea and has several chances to increase production to satisfy the major global consumers’ demand.
Referring to the Monday sales, Dr Langat pointed out that the sellers to the Mombasa auction really justified their dream to have a central place to sell the product locally.
He said the Tanzania’s tea is also being sought by consumers from the UK, Russia, Middle East, Egypt, South Africa and Sudan amongst others.
The chairman pointed out that they managed to buy and store the product in their warehouse after enlightening the farmers with constant follow-ups, which made the buyers to rush and purchase the consignment easily.
“This is saving the Tanzania producers the cost of transporting the tea to Mombasa, and at the same time give them access to the brokers’ services at the auction,” he said.
In a related development, Dr Langat thanked the Tanzania government for supporting the initiative, saying it ushered in cooperation between the company and the Tanzania Tea Board.
“There was a strong cooperation between the board and the corporation and it is bearing fruits,” he stressed.
According to the chairman, Burundi, Rwanda and Malawi tea growers have also shown interests to use the Dar es Salaam warehouse and tea testing room to market theirs.
However, he appealed to the government to remove logistical barriers, which may discourage the three countries to ship in their tea products freely to the Dar es Salaam warehouse for further sales.