Рынки и торговля


Origins of Tea

Tea is a beverage made from the Camellia sinensis plant (as opposed to herbal "teas" which are infusions made from plants that have nothing to do with Camellia sinensis). Tea is the world’s most consumed drink, after water. It is believed that tea originated in northeast India, north Myanmar (Burma) and southwest China, but the exact place where the plant first grew is not known. There is evidence that tea was consumed in China about 5 000 years ago. Tea plays a significant role in many countries, and is not only a drink, but an ancient tradition, unique to each culture.

Commodity in focus

Tea is one of the most important cash crops and plays a significant role in rural development, poverty reduction and food security in exporting and developing countries. It is a principle source of livelihood for millions of smallholder producers.

Tea has also a cultural significance in many societies.

The United Nations (UN) designated 21 May as International Tea Day to celebrate the tea industry around the world. This day is meant to raise public awareness of the importance of tea for rural development, sustainable livelihoods as well as its contribution to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).


Tea production and processing represent a source of livelihood for millions of families, including in least developed countries.

Tea export earnings help to finance food import bills, supporting the economies of major tea-producing countries.

The specific agro-ecological conditions where tea thrives occur in areas which are highly vulnerable to climate change.

To ensure benefits for both people and the environment, the tea value chain must be sustainable at all stages, from field to cup.

Did you know?

  • Tea is one of the world’s oldest beverages, and is the most consumed drink in the world, after water.

  • Tea is available in many varieties, which differ according to the applied oxidation and fermentation technique.

  • Tea cultivation provides employment and income to millions of smallholder growers, who are supplementing or even replacing production of larger tea estates in many countries.

  • While three quarters of tea produced is consumed domestically, tea is a widely traded and exported commodity.

  • Over the past decades, the global tea industry has seen rapid growth, with a rising number of consumers globally.

  • Despite the increase of tea consumption in major producing countries, per capita consumption remains low, suggesting there is still considerable growth potential in these countries.

  • Drinking tea can bring many health benefits, from anti-inflammatory to antioxidant and weight loss effects.

  • China, Korea and Japan have four tea cultivation sites designated as Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Systems (GIAHS) by FAO.