The government and Indonesian tea stakeholders will visit three European cities – Hamburg, London and Brussels – for a week-long program dubbed the Indonesia Tea Trade Mission (ITTM) starting Sunday to boost declining exports of Indonesian tea to Europe.
“We hope to minimize obstacles to exporting Indonesian tea to the European Union [EU] by advocating our tea,” the Trade Ministry's foreign trade director general, Oke Nurwan, said in a press release on Sunday.
Exports have slowed due to decreased demand from the European market, declining tea prices and import policies in some countries. As a result, Indonesia’s tea export volume and value dwindled by 20 percent on average over the last five years.
One of the main provisions that Indonesian delegates will bring is scientific proof to challenge the maximum residue level (MRL) policy made by the European Commission for Health and Food Safety. The evidence was based on research by the Trade Ministry and the Bandung Institute of Technology, one of Indonesia’s most reputable universities.
“The [MRL] threshold from the EU, which is 0.02 milligrams per kilogram, is too strict. We found that humans can tolerate up to 0.2 mg per kg,” Oke said.
Moreover, the delegates plan to hold a focus group discussion with tea-related communities, including international tea committees, tea-packaging workers, tea-retail traders and the owners of tea specialty shops.
Source: Jakarta Post