15th June 2012
By Dr Srimal Fernando Asia Correspondent
The word Sri Lanka is associated with a Tea beverage rather than with anything else. "Ceylon Tea" or "Sri Lankan tea" is still regarded as a sign of quality throughout the world. At present over one million Sri Lankan are directly and indirectly, employed in the tea industry. The Sri Lankan tea sector remains one of the most important foreign exchange earners to the country. In the year 2010 it earned a revenue of US $ 1.4 billion (Estimates). Quality improvement and energy saving are major priorities within the actions of improving the Tea industry. It was an appropriate time to renew contacts and discuss problems of mutual interest related to the Tea Industry in Sri Lanka.
The DATA Acquisition Design (PVT) Ltd, Sri Lanka and the United Kingdom organized this one day seminar with several distinctive speakers at Global Towers Hotel, Colombo on 15th June 2012. The theme was “Quality Improvement & Energy Saving in the Tea Industry”. More than 100 foreign and local tea enthusiasts attended the seminar. The sessions were interesting and networking opportunities were well designed for utmost interaction with other attendees.
The participants ranged from Tea buying, Marketing, Communications and Finance. They came together for this seminar to discuss and to review the quality improvements of tea through technology. Well known companies such as Sri Lanka Tea Board, Sun Tea, Akbar Tea, Finlays Tea, Watawala Plantations, Agalawatte Plantations with strong associations with the tea trade came together at this Seminar.
The Seminar covered a wide range of interesting topics. The seminar also provided the participants with the opportunities to hear from three distinctive speakers Mr Nigel Melican and Dr Konesh Veil from the United Kingdom and Mr. Ashok Kumar from India. It also helped tea producers’ methods to improve their tea production and quality through better energy management systems. The seminar also highlighted how much the tea sector performance had improved over the last hundred and fifty years. The speakers and participants also discussed key issues relating to the tea Industry.
It was the first time that many participants from Sri Lankan Tea sector got the opportunity of meeting Nigel Melican, Managing Director, The Tea Craft Ltd United Kingdom. Mr. Melican with more than thirty years’ of experience in the tea industry both as a product developer and a trouble-shooter in plantations led a thought- provoking first session.
The second session was opened by Dr Konesh Veil a “humidity and temperature control” specialist from U.K. He gave an overview of “Humidity control systems in the tea sector and the likely impacts on tea production”. One of the highlights of the seminar was on “Energy Saving and Automation” by Mr Askok Kumar from Selec Private Limited, India and Dr Konesh Veil. This was followed by a questions and answer session.
The achievements of the DATA Acquisition Design (PVT) Ltd, Sri Lanka, meeting was summed up by Mr. Suren Stembo, the Director, DATA Acquisition Design (PVT) Ltd Sri Lanka. Participants walked away inspired by actions to improve the Tea industry and technologies related to the sector professionally and on personal capacity. The organizers also had a stall at Bandaranaike Memorial International Conference Hall (BMICH) to coincide with the INCO 2012 exhibition, held from 15th to 17th June 2012. The specialist speakers who led some very insightful discussions at the seminar also atteded the three day 2012 INCO organised by the Institution of Incorporated Engineers mega industrial and automation fair.