Mr.Niraj de Mel made Chairman of Sri Lanka Tea Board
ECONOMYNEXT – Niraj de Mel, a veteran of Sri Lanka’s tea sector with over 45 years of experience, has been appointed Chairman of Sri Lanka Tea Board.
Having worked at Sri Lankan and multinational tea firms he was also a past chairman of the Tea Exporter’s Association and the Colombo Brokers Association and a Vice Chairman of the Colombo Tea Traders Association.
He was Chairman of the Sri Lanka Tea Board from June 2004 to November 2005.
“I am privileged to take on this role at such a crucial time in the history of our industry where the needs of the Tea industry regulators, stakeholders and consumers are changing rapidly.
“Every stakeholder – be they growers, manufacturers, producers, brokers and exporters – is facing challenges,” de Mel said in a statement.
“Sri Lanka Tea Board is dealing with these changes in a very proactive and astute manner, seriously looking at innovative ways to maintain the reputation of Ceylon tea which will benefit all tea stakeholders for years to come.”
Sri Lanka is now in the grip of the worst currency crises triggered by the island’s intermediate regime central bank and forex shortages have cut off access to inputs including fertilizer, though both tea revenues and costs have shot up due to depreciation.
Freight, packing, labour and fuel costs have risen sharply thereby affecting the cost structure of products and consumer prices.
De Me says every possible measure is being taken to provide required inputs including fertilizer and fuel to keep production and supplies running.
In May Sri Lanka’s tea production fell 16 percent, industry data showed.