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Archive for November, 2014

Take us into confidence, tea exporters urge govt.

Posted on: November 20th, 2014 by HELADIV No Comments

The Chairman of the Tea Exporters Association (TEA), Rohan Fernando last week urged Sri Lanka’s policy makers to take the members of the Association into confidence vowing that the assurance alone could propel the industry to reach greater heights. Addressing the 15th Annual General Meeting of the TEA held at the Cinnamon Grand Hotel recently with the participation of Minister of Plantation Industries Mahinda Samarasinghe, Fernando said that in difference to most others, the tea exporters have never gone to the government with a begging bowl and, in fact, have not received any concessions or for that matter recognition for their efforts in building global brands.
“I will not delve on data and facts, but as we have always professed, it is very much in the interest of the Government in power to take us in to confidence,” the Chairman said.
He noted that as an organization representing over 85% of the total tea revenue generated in the country, the TEA was able to mobilize positive energies amongst its members and that if a productive dialogue is established, the tea exporters can certainly assist the government in their revenue targets.
“In 2010, when the EDB launched the vision for Sri Lanka, we were confident in stating that the tea exports will target to reach an annual turnover of 5 billion USD by 2020. It was treated with the same lukewarm response as the one billion target we projected to cross several years ago. But today the policy makers are confident of the possibility of 5 billion USD. I say to you today with confidence, the potential of our members if properly harnessed is much more than the figure we are aiming at,” Fernando pointed out.
Speaking further, the TEA Chairman said that if Research and Development is recognized as an essential part of innovation, tea will be the first industry to benefit and double its potential within a short period. He, therefore, appealed to the policy makers to look at tea from a different perspective.
“It is an accepted fact that the vast numbers of tea farmers need state assistance and any government in office will not shirk this responsibility and lose the votes. At the same time, Tea Exporters must be taken into confidence and a dialogue established to go after a lager global share which is growing year-on-year surpassing most other human essentials. It is surprising that when formulating national policy this vital fact is overlooked,” Fernando further added.

Fernando’s points to ponder

  • The industry we are engaged in, for reasons known to some is clustered as the tea industry without giving any credence to its evolvement over the years as tea plantations and tea exports. It probably shows the way the policy makers look at us, perhaps as a traditional industry with not much contribution expected of. It must be noted that a vast number of our exporters are now setting up operations in centralized locations close to the large markets and this will certainly boost the value of these companies and accrue strong brand value like the way some of the multinational companies have progressed. We believe by the turn of this decade more local companies will become multinationals and it will be a pride to our nation to witness some of our tea brands being recognized through international stock options.
  •  A further point to keep in mind is that Tea Companies have started to diversify whilst maintaining its core business in tea. Hence the power of the Tea Economy should also be viewed from a different angle with their diversified strengths. Today, it is evident that Tea has provided the springboard for several high value segments to branch out.
  • Tea based beverages which were made popular by multinational companies is now being developed in Sri Lanka. The largest beverage manufacturer of soft drinks in Sri Lanka recently introduced a line of tea drinks which will bring to light yet another dimension of this magic brew.
  • Tea tourism has taken shape giving a boost at the plantation level to create new wealth. Health aspect of tea is now a well established fact and several curative products from tea are already in the market and before too long the range will expand even to capture spas and health resorts.

Celebrating the true essence of tea at HTC

Posted on: November 20th, 2014 by HELADIV No Comments

Celebrating and embracing the true essence of tea, the Heladiv Tea Club (HTC) located at the trendy new Dutch Hospital Shopping Precinct, is the ideal place to kick back after a long day with an aromatic cup of tea and a sandwich or for those feeling more decadent, a choice from HTC’s extensive range of divine desserts.

A three-fold concept, HTC is first and foremost a tea salon and also doubles as a dessert bar and boutique. In recent times, coffee has taken over as the front-runner for being a more commercial beverage especially in Colombo and HTC aims to reintroduce the beauty of certain age-old tea drinking rituals and share the experience of its consumption and the feelings that it incites, with the public.
This can clearly be seen as you step into the plush interior of the Tea Club, a fusion of eras gone by and a more modern contemporary style. A blue crystal chandelier casts a dim glow over the lounge, complimented by candlelit low stools and leather sofas artfully positioned around a long bar running through the space. Gilt-edged mirrors and portraits depicting scenes from tea plantations adorn the walls, further adding to the ambience.
HTC offers a range of hot and cold beverages, commencing with a selection of traditional teas, singe estate teas, premium white teas, flavoured teas, herbal infusions and tea lattes. Each of the teas offered on the menu are also available packaged for purchase and customers are given the opportunity to inhale the aroma of the various teas before deciding on what to have. HTC Manager Shane Anthony Cramer explained that HTC’s range of iced teas too have proved to be popular with customers, especially the ‘sunset soother’ and ‘blue fire’ iced teas, stating that the unusual names alone are enough to attract the customers’ attention to the extent that they are enticed to try out the beverages for themselves. Also available are a variety of hot and cold coffees, from espressos to iced cappuccinos.
The sandwiches include tandoori chicken, smoked beef, smoked salmon, cheese and tomato and egg mayonnaise with one’s choice of bread and are accompanied by a side of salad.
“We only offer a small range of sandwiches because most customers either come to HTC for a quick bite or head out to dinner at one of the other restaurants and then arrive here to wrap up their evening with some tea or coffee and dessert – hence why we have many desserts to choose from,” said Cramer.
HTC certainly does itself proud with its range of desserts and up for grabs are strawberry meringue cake, the ever-popular death by chocolate, blueberry cheesecake, vanilla meringue cupcakes, chocolate earthquake cupcakes, strawberry tarts, profiteroles, tiramisu amongst several others. Cramer added that the tiramisu and death by chocolate have proved to be favourites with customers, with the latter served piping hot with a scoop of ice cream to top it off.
Having just obtained its liquor license, HTC also plans on offering in the near future a selection of wine and beers. Furthermore they have also just introduced a delivery service exclusively to the World Trade Centre, Bank of Ceylon and Ceylinco House. Also in the works is a discount card for those working at the WTC and BOC.
“We have been receiving more and more customers each day, especially a lot of repeat customers who bring their friends along with them so HTC is definitely a popular concept. It is also unlike anything else we have seen in Colombo so far,” Cramer elucidated.
In addition to the food and beverages available for purchase, the Tea Club also has on display a vast range of Heladiv’s speciality teas which are packaged and available for purchase as well and also prepares customised gift packs according to the customers’ wishes.
The Heladiv Tea Club is open from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. on weekdays and depending on customers, is open until midnight over the weekends.

HELADIV a main sponsor at Gulfood 2013

Posted on: November 20th, 2014 by HELADIV No Comments

Gulfood 2013, the largest food exhibition in the Middle East which is held annually in Dubai, UAE attracts the largest stakeholder community of the global tea trade. Sri Lanka has for several years been participating and promoting Pure Ceylon Tea and the coveted Lion logo tea brands at this prestigious event.

Taking the level of focus for Ceylon Tea to a different modern level this year, a leading brand of tea from Sri Lanka, HELADIV will proudly sponsor this event in a bid to optimize focus and promotion of our valued Ceylon Tea brand. Showcasing the HELADIV ’ range created to mirror beautiful Sri Lanka and tea being an essence of all that this beautiful island nation is, HELADIV will make its presence felt at the exhibition which takes place on 25th – 28th February 2013.

Mr. Rohan Fernando, Chairman, HVA Foods PLC believes that this opportunity and Sri Lanka’s commanding presence where global industry giants dominate will certainly be beneficial and add value to our tea industry.

HELADIV having just successfully completed its participation at PRODEXPO 2013 in Russia stands encouraged to innovate new wellness driven tea based products and promote its pioneering iced tea range.

The brand strongly believes global awareness and creating a strong presence at global gatherings and for a will enhance the brand equity. It is in view of furthering this strategy that HELADIV takes pride in showcasing its unique range of products across the globe.

Having a thriving tea boutique concern with over 28 luxurious boutiques across China, HELADIV is inspired to create tea products for the new age. Having locally established HC or the HELADIV Tea Club at the Dutch Shopping Precinct, the company is looking forward to expanding their chain to the Liberty Arcade scheduled to open shortly.

HELADIV TEAS wins at National Plantation Awards

Posted on: November 20th, 2014 by HELADIV No Comments

HELADIV TEAS was awarded winner of “the best value addition of medium scale tea exporters” at the recent National Plantation awards – created to recognize the outstanding performance of industry stakeholders.
HELADIV is established in 48 countries around the world and growing. Manufactured in keeping with the most stringent production and quality standards, HELADIV TEAS offers a wide variety of bouquets and flavours. Most often, challenging the convention with pioneer innovations like ICE TEA.

HELADIV TEAS celebrate 20 years

Posted on: November 20th, 2014 by HELADIV No Comments

The HVA Group which was formed in 1990, celebrates 20 years of success this year. It was formed as an offshore arm of the Dutch trading company Hans Veering Amsterdam or the Trading Company of Amsterdam and was established primarily to export tea from Sri Lanka.

Although the company was keen to capitalize on its growth potential while continuing with its traditional core operations in the tea industry, there was one man who saw “Tea in a whole new dimension”. He vehemently believed that Tea was not a mere beverage but a symbol of an upwardly mobile and dynamic lifestyle. He passionately believed that the real business opportunity lay in this non-conventional thinking and thus laid the foundation for the creation of the company’s flagship brand and its unique aura.

Under the stewardship and hands-on operation of Rohan Fernando, the veteran tea personality, the company began to take off – initially focusing on consolidating its bulk business and shipping “pure Ceylon tea” to large tea drinking countries like the Middle East and CIS. Although exporting to these traditional markets proved to be fruitful, there was always a yearning to explore new ground. The birth of the company’s flagship brand “Heladiv” was the result of this lacuna and the need for Fernando to drive his vision to deliver innovation in Tea, hitherto considered being a traditional beverage in Sri Lanka.

Heladiv – poetically spun from the word “Heladiva (our land)” with an European phonetic lilt was expected to carve out its unique niche in the world tea markets, as a premium quality brand of teas from the renowned tea gardens of Sri Lanka. This brand was expected to carry the goodness and richness of a commodity deeply ingrained in tradition, culture and superior taste quality. The response from the world markets was stupendous and Heladiv began its journey as a truly global brand originating from Sri Lanka. Over time, as markets grew so did the product portfolio. Each time, adding on just that little something extra to the already endowed collection of teas – comprising of flavored teas, black teas, golden & silver tips and of course the specialty gift packs.

The milestone achievement of the company was winning ‘The Exporter of the Year Award’ in 1998 and being recognized for the great contribution the brand was making to the industry and the nation. The Heladiv team looked at this achievement as a realization of their vision – now a fulfilled dream.

The cornerstone of the company’s success stemmed from the commitment towards Research & Development. Establishing the industry’s first standardized laboratory and development centre aptly titled – The Heladiv Concept Centre, newer and out-of-the-box innovations based on the raw material Tea and its by-products were created under the brand Heladiv and patented for introduction into the global markets at an opportune time. Some of these inventions won both local and international recognition for product novelty, packaging designs and new-age thinking.

Heladiv Ice Tea was launched into the local market as a pioneer product in 2000 and has since made great strides not only in introducing a new facet to traditional tea drinking but setting a new standard for innovation in tea, in the industry. A firm favorite with the young and old alike, Heladiv Ice Tea is consumed as a lifestyle beverage for its health offering, energy boosting promise and as the refreshing non-carbonated beverage option.

Registered in over 42 countries, Heladiv Teas took a new dimension when the brand entered the Chinese market. With a strategic partnership, Heladiv has now opened close to 10 exclusive tea boutiques cum parlors in Beijing and the Fujian Province. These high profile tea parlors under the “Infini-T” banner, serve the best quality tea from Sri Lanka and hope to expand its chain of parlors to 100 by the end of 2011. Heladiv is proud to be the first and only Tea brand from Sri Lanka to have its branded chain of tea parlors in China, the super power of Asia.

In reminiscing about the company’s 20 year’s journey, its founder shareholder and Chairman Rohan Fernando says that “HVA is built on a family concept. Everyone is energized with a powerful spirit to work as one to conquer the world. Through the many triumphs and tribulations, this team has forged strong bonds – bonds that form the bedrock of this company. We believe in hard work and integrity. These are the two most vital ingredients that have made us strong today. As we celebrate a colossal milestone in the history of the company, we renew our energies and set our course on the path of the future – for there are many new challenges to face and with that there will be many new successes to savor”.