Some companies in Australia claim to supply ‘Australian produced tea’.
The tea plantations in Australia which are run by these companies in Queensland are relatively small in acreage compared to the plantations run in the traditional tea producing countries.
The yield (the amount of leaf) from an acre of plantation can vary depending on location and climatic conditions, but generally there are accepted yield levels.
Even allowing for the ‘rough’ picking of the leaves in Australia– machine picking which picks up stalk as against hand picking –two leaves and a bud only, the quantity of so called Australian produced tea sold in the supermarkets cannot be reconciled with its limited production capacity.
To put it bluntly, far too much ‘Australian produced’ tea is sold relative to the Australian plantation’s production capacity!
How does this happen? Lesser quality Australian tea is blended with other quality imported tea (usually Ceylon Tea from Sri Lanka).
Some companies actually state this on their packaging.
Because it is almost impossible to determine the percentage of imported tea used in many ‘Australian Produced’ tea blends, the question must be asked if this is simply a deliberate and clever (though misleading) marketing ploy to attract Australian consumer loyalty for an inferior product.