Dubai – DMCC, the world’s leading Free Zone for commodities trade and enterprise, hosted the first day of its two-day Global Dubai Tea Forum in Dubai under the theme of “Brewing the Future of Trade”.
Representing all segments of the tea supply chain, more than 450 international delegates, a 39 per cent increase in attendance from the previous event, descended on Dubai for the event’s seventh edition, and to take part in expert analysis on the current state of the global tea industry, as well as debate the challenges set to define its future.
“DMCC is a market-maker, facilitators of trade, and a hub for the flow of commodities around the world, and through Dubai. The DMCC Tea Centre is internationally recognised as a centre of excellence for the industry and has helped secure the position of the United Arab Emirates as a valuable export route for the majority of the tea producing nations,” said Ahmed Bin Sulayem, Executive Chairman, DMCC.
“Our state-of-the-art Tea Centre handles 53 million kilos of tea annually, and we are confident our market share will remain consistent for the foreseeable future,” he added.
According to Euromonitor International, the Middle East and Africa region will account for 11% of the total global retail value by 2022, growing at a 5% rate over the same period of time. In the UAE alone, Euromonitor International estimates that the tea market will be worth USD 70 million in 2018.
“Few people outside this region would have predicted that the DMCC Tea Centre would grow to handle over 53 million kilos of tea in just over a decade. Today we see over 100 brands of tea being packed at their facility in Jebel Ali, facilitating the trade of tea to international buyers worldwide, with tea being processed there from 13 countries!” said keynote speaker Mohammed Al Muallem, CEO & MD UAE Region DP World & CEO JAFZA.
“Creating a successful tea marketplace derived from listening to market needs, delivering smart and efficient solutions to market participants, – and leveraging existing infrastructure such as our world-class port, and Dubai’s unrivalled global connectivity,” he added.
“The global story today is that tea like other commodities is facing some challenges in prices, exports and tea plantation with rising wedges. The challenges which will have the greatest impact in the tea industry are not challenges applied to the tea industry alone, but indeed represent global concern that have come to typify the twenty first century, weather is the changeling pattern in land use or climate induced extreme weather events that put tea production at risk,” said Dr. Shashi Tharoor, Former UN diplomat and famed author on the eve of the conference as the guest of honour at closed event for delegates.
“While the challenges that face the tea industry are indeed substantial, I believe the opportunities to resolve them, and in some ways to reinvent the tea trade, are very much there. They require the collective might of tea industry, from stakeholders across the supply chain, and with legislative support from governments, I would hope that we can actually drive sustainable change right from the cup of English Breakfast Tea, to a consumer sitting in London, all the way to the tea pluckers in the plantations,” he added.
The breath of sessions on day one was reflective of the wide spectrum of delegates in attendance with panel groups titled: ‘Developments in Branding & Positioning of Tea Industry’; ‘Share of Throat’; ‘Preferences & Perspectives of a Brewing Pot’; ‘Climate Change and its impact on the Tea Industry’; ‘UN Sustainable Development Goals – Partnering for Impact’; ‘Producing Countries – Growth, Challenges & Opportunities’.
Delegates had the chance over lunch to compete with one another by entering The Golden Leaf India Awards, an engaging tea tasting competition before preparations were made for event signature’s gala dinner in the ballroom of The Address Dubai Marina.
The focus of day two will be the search of solutions for sustainable filter paper, value addition in the tea industry and to overcome challenges to meet demand in 2050. – -firstname.lastname@example.org