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In the first initiative of its kind, THIRST has created this knowledge hub in order to bring together all of the valuable resources regarding the treatment of workers in the tea industry that are scattered all over the internet. We’re always trying to expand our knowledge hub. If you know of, or have created, any other relevant resources that should be included in this collection please contact us.

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World Tea Production and Trade: Current and Future Development

Date of publication:
Published by:
Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
This document constitutes an overview of the current production and trade situation for tea, as well as medium-term projections to 2023. Tea (Camellia sinensis) is the manufactured drink most consumed in the world. Discovered about 2700BC, it is one of the oldest beverages in the world. Today it is available for consumption in six main varieties, based on the oxidization and fermentation technique applied. The tea crop has rather specific agro-climatic requirements that are only available in tropical and subtropical climates, while some varieties can tolerate marine climates of British mainland and Washington area of the Unites States. The tea plant needs a hot, moist climate. Its specific requirements are temperatures ranging from 10-30oC (zone 8 climate or warmer), minimum annual precipitation of 1250 mm, preferably acidic soils, ideally 0.5-10 degree slopes and elevations up to 2000 meters. Tea production, therefore, is geographically limited to a few areas around the world and it is highly sensitive to changes in growing conditions. Importantly, its ideal growing conditions are at high risk and expected to significantly change under climate change.
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