Sri Lanka

As the country’s largest employer, the tea industry plays a vital role in the Sri Lankan economy.

Tea accounts for 10% of the Sri Lanka’s total exports and 2% of its GDP.

More than 2.5 million people are employed by the tea sector in Sri Lanka, and are more than 500,000 smallholder farmers, who produce 75% of the country’s tea.

While production is declining, tea is one of the most important sources of foreign exchange and most of the tea produced in the country is exported.

ETP’s Sri Lanka Country Plan is in progress. It will support the development of the Ceylon Tea Roadmap 2030 and focus on developing partnerships to address key sustainability challenges faced by the Sri Lankan tea sector.

Facts & figures

The 2022 economic crisis resulted in inflation which increased food prices by as much as 90%.

The prevalence of violence against women in tea estates is higher than the national average.

Electricity and fertiliser are the main contributors to production-based greenhouse gasses in tea.

Regional priorities

ETP’s projects focus on ensuring ‘Dignity of Work’ and respectable workplaces in the Sri Lankan tea sector.

Private sector change
ETP will explore the potential of digital payments for tea workers as well as the effectiveness of the ‘tea outgrower’ model of contract farming.

In 2025, ETP will complete a legislative and policy review and action plan to guide ETP’s policy work in Sri Lanka.