Tea growers see profits nearly double as quality improves
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Taipei, Oct. 13 (CNA) Tea growers in Taiwan have seen profits nearly double since last year thanks to a government-sponsored program that promotes the growth of high-quality leaves, a Council of Agriculture (COA) official said Wednesday.
Since late 2009, the council has provided consulting and advanced techniques for applying fertilizer or medicine, helping high-end tea growers obtain certifications including ISO 22000 and HACCP, Tsai Hsien-tsung, director of the COA's Tea Research and Extention Station's Wenshan Branch, said.
Taiwanese tea has become more competitive against foreign teas, Tsai said, noting that Starbucks Beijing and European tea merchants have placed orders.
Tea growers in areas such as Taipei County's Pinglin and Sansia townships, Taoyuan County, Hsinchu County, and Nantou County's Mingjian Jhushan townships have seen profits rise, he said.
Tsai said that as tea grown in the Taipei Sansia area has no pesticide residue, its price has risen from NT$70 (US$2) for 600 grams last year to NT$120 for now.