Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Tableland tea time

Tea may not be our highest profile local agricultural product so it came as something of a surprise to discover that the Atherton Tableland provides for 15% of Australian domestic tea consumption: 'Rain, sun and love' make Tableland tea a top notch drop.
North Queensland may not be the first place that springs to mind when you think of the great tea-growing regions of the world. But, just like the misty, terraced hills of Sri Lanka, mountains of west China and Assam in the foothills of the Himalayas, the Atherton Tableland has all the essential natural ingredients for producing top quality tea.
The post does make it clear that the Tableland is not in a position to be a bulk commodity exporter of tea and is reliant on a quality branded product into the domestic market. A search of my usual chart source provided nothing on tea, however this link to auction prices in Kenya indicates that tea has been quite a solid performer among agricultural commodities, doubling over 10 years.

Coffee prices have outperformed tea over that period and remain a standout among agricultural commodities coincident with the explosion of the coffee culture. High profile demographer Bernard Salt, a tea drinker, has taken exception to the coffee culture and demanded that Tea drinkers must rise up against the coffee-swilling elite!

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