International Tea Day Current Affairs - 2020

May 21: International Tea Day

Every year, on May 21, the United Nations observes International Tea Day. The resolution to celebrate International Tea Day was adopted in 2019 by the United Nations food and Agriculture Organization.


The International Tea Day is being celebrated since 2005 in major tea producing countries of the world namely Sri Lanka, India, Indonesia, Vietnam, Bangladesh, Nepal, Kenya, Malaysia, Malawi, Uganda and Tanzania. It aims to draw the attention of citizens, governments about the impact of global tea trade.


The main goal of the day is to promote sustainable production of tea and increase awareness in fighting poverty and hunger.

Intergovernmental Group on Tea

The Intergovernmental Group of Tea operating under Food and Agriculture Organization proposed the concept of International Tea Day in 2015.

Sustainable Development Goals

The tea production helps to achieve the following goals

  • Goal 1: Reduce Poverty
  • Goal 2: Fight Hunger
  • Goal 5: Empowerment of Women
  • Goal 15: Sustainable use of Terrestrial Ecosystems


Tea Production is sensitive to climate changes. Tea can be produced only in agro-ecological conditions. There are very limited countries that produce tea.

Therefore, the tea producing countries must integrate the climate challenges along with their tea production. This is the main objective of celebrating International Tea Day.


India is the second largest tea producing country after China. Also, India is the largest consumer of tea in the world. India consumes around 30% of global tea output.


The International Tea Day is celebrated on the motto, “Harnessing Benefits for all From Field to Cup”. This is not the theme of the day. This is the motto under which the day is celebrated every year.

15 December: International Tea Day

International Tea Day is observed every year on 16 December since 2005. The day is celebrated in tea producing nations such as India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Vietnam, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Malawi and Malaysia.

About International Tea Day

Objective: To draw global attention of governments and citizens to impact of global tea trade on workers and growers as well as requests for price supports and fair trade.

Background: International Tea Day celebrations and related Global Tea Conferences are jointly organized by trade union movements. The first International Tea Day was celebrated in New Delhi in 2005, with later celebrations being organized in Sri Lanka in 2006 and 2008.

May 21: Now International Tea Day

In October 2015, Indian government moved a proposal at the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Intergovernmental Group (IGG) on Tea expanding the observance of International Tea Day through UN FAO. Thereby, the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) has now accepted India’s proposal and designated May 21 as International Tea Day. The month of May was selected as it’s the quality tea manufacturing season in most tea producing countries.

UNGA has invited all Members and observers of UN, organisations of UN system, other international/ regional organisations and other relevant stakeholders, including civil society, private sector and academia, to observe International Tea Day in an appropriate manner, so as to ensure rural development and sustainable livelihoods.

Significance: This move could provide much-needed push to create awareness for tea consumption.  Also as per UNGA, the observance of an International Tea Day will not only promote and foster collective actions to implement activities in favour of sustainable production and consumption of tea but will also raise awareness of its importance in fighting hunger and poverty.

What FAO IGG on Tea?

It is a forum for intergovernmental consultation and exchange on trends in tea’s trade/ prices/ production/ consumption, including regular appraisal of global market situation. ICG under FAO auspices, considers changes in national policies and examines their international effects in relation to current and prospective market situation.