Chairman, HVA Foods, Rohan Fernando in his address to the shareholders in the company’s annual report the Cabinet approval received for the global marketing campaign will yield positive results in reversing the negative effects at the Colombo tea auctions. The veteran tea exporter accused the previous administration of sitting on the CESS funds allocated for promoting the island’s tea export industry and deliberately delaying the global tea marketing campaigns for which the funds were collected.

Rohan Fernando, who is also the Chairman of the Tea Exporters Association in his address to the shareholders in the company’s annual report said that the present global surge in tea prices and the turmoil in the country’s key export markets had hurt the industry.

In his message, Fernando said that the tea marketing campaign was proposed over four years ago, was only approved recently by the new government. The funds, in the meantime, had increased up to Rs. 5 billion.

“For five long years, when the tea prices enjoyed a premium at the Colombo auction, the top bureaucrats were comfortable in assuming that prices would continue to maintain high levels and purposely delayed the global marketing campaign,” he said.

“What we are seeing today are the ill effects of bad decisions taken in the recent past,” he added. Fernando further said that the new Tea Board administration which was appointed after the change of government in January had a better understanding of the needs of the tea sector of the country.

“They have now understood the importance of promotion and marketing of indigenous tea brands in the global market place to entice consumers to buy Ceylon teas,” he added.