Georgian tea producers request fair competition
28 October, 2010
Georgian tea producers request fair competition

Georgian tea producers aim to conquer Georgian market by ecologically pure product and oust the suspicious quality import off the country. To hit this goal they need just fair competition and ask Georgian government to establish fair game rules to both local tea-producers and importers alike.
Georgian tea has strengthened its positions lately at local market enhancing its market share from 5% to 11% this year alone. Georgian government plans to enhance the local tea-share to 30% in coming two years

and increase the figure gradually as much as possible. This year seems like a breakthrough in the rap sheet of notorious fame of Georgian tea stagnated for tens of years thanks to soviet time planned economy been focused on quantity of the product instead of quality that badly affected quality of almost all products including tea.
But profit for local production across the secured market of great Soviet Union with no actual competitors was guaranteed.

The bitter results of notorious practice were yielded when manufacturers remained tete-a-tete with the demanding consumer after the collapse of Soviet regime. The import [of low quality meantime] ousted locally produced trash-tea. The market was lost to Georgian tea-growers as a result and once accurately trimmed tea plantations grew into jungles. Some persistent tea-growers managed to survive however and with the focus on tea-quality entered international market by exporting raw tea of the best quality. Georgia faced a strange quiz: 90% of Georgian-produced high quality tea is exported abroad while Georgian local market is by 90% saturated  of suspicious-quality import.
Meantime Georgian tea is acknowledged as one of the best worldwide if produced honestly in full compliance with the tea growing and manufacturing standards. The mild Caucasus climate auspicious for growing ecologically pure, pesticide-free tea makes Georgian tea unique and of better quality compared to the traditional hot tea grower countries of China and India or any other one. Georgian raw tea is exported to traditional tea-producer and consumer countries including India, Kenya, Egypt, and Indonesia [starting 1996], while local supermarkets snub to put the packed tea in sale. 
According to data of 2007, Georgia exported a USD 1.2 million worth product while the import value exceeded USD 4.2 million. Obviously domestic market looks more profitable and Georgian tea-growers aim to domain at the market gradually.

Georgia consumes about 2 thousand tons of tea per year and Georgian tea growers can completely meet this demand and implement export at the same time.
Georgian tea manufacturer managed to restore about 15 thousand hectare of plantation with 15 thousand tons of productive capacity [of high quality tea].  But they produced only about 1500 tons annually due to lack of demand.
The situation has radically changed lately however. Georgian tea-growers entered Georgian market by four new brands Gurieli, Samaia, Aisi and Martvili in this past August alone expanding the local production market share by 5-6% approximately while the share of Georgian tea-producers accounted less than 5% for about 15 years after collapse the soviet regime.
Georgian tea-producers assure they are focused on quality of the product alone and can provide Georgian population by ecologically pure product. They hope to get back the lost consumer trust by raising their awareness and domain at local market ultimately. The single request they have toward the state is to establish fair market game rules and act as an impartial referee. The problem is that Georgia still lacks the food control legislation and government implements tea quality control once in a blue moon and the bad quality import infests the market. According to Tengiz Svanidze, President of Association of Georgian Tea-Producers, 80% of the import is of bad quality and even risky to health.
“The single thing we ask the state is no money support but fair competition,” Mikheil Tsintsadze, Founder of Georgian Aroma brand producing tea in Guria region, told Georgian Journal during the tea-festival held on October 23, 2010 in Tbilisi. “Let the state put us the local tea-producers and importers in equal conditions. Let it control the quality of the imported tea as well as the locally produced tea, when the state control of tea quality will be strong the consumer trust will be regained and we’ll get through all difficulties.”

The key challenge is that tea-distributors shun Georgian tea as supermarkets refuse to accept them. The reason is absence of consumer trust toward the product, tea-growers explain. However underdeveloped management skills also affect sales.
“Supermarkets refuse Georgian tea frequently because Georgian tea-companies fail sometimes to provide with promised quantity of the product and provide with the fake product in this case,” Bakur Kvezereli, Minister of Agriculture of Georgia, explained to Georgian Journal adding that this problem must be tackled between companies and supermarkets themselves. He eluded commenting on adoption of stronger quality control however, assuring that the state implements the product monitoring based on selective method. Kvezereli hopes that the share of local product will enhance to 25% next year going higher in a long-term prospect.
“We plan to take all segments including the high-priced premium sector and cheaper sorts of tea alike, and it will be possible to compete with all sorts of all brands imported in Georgia,” He said.   
Georgian tea-producers having reequipped their plants by state-of-the-art technologies assure this is quite possible if the fair competition rules are adopted that will filter the import and pave the way to honest Georgian tea-growers with due management skills.
Part of the problem is that Georgian tea-brands have been sold at prestigious supermarkets including Goodwill, G-Mart, Populi etc calculated on high-purchase-power consumers. While the economy-class consumer that goes to smaller supermarkets and trade outlets remained out of the game. Newly fledged tea-brands plan to develop larger distribution network to make their product available to entire Georgian population.
To this end they entered the market with about 7 sorts of tea ranged from the lower quality cheap tea-bags to expensive segment of premium tea. Prices are quite competitive varying from GEL 0.7 to GEL 6 per 100 gram of tea. The famous foreign brands including Lipton, Green-field and Ahmad tea also offer similar prices and even higher. The quality of Georgian product equals and sometimes wins over the similar sort of imported tea, Svanidze assures.
Geoplant, one of the leading Georgian tea-producing companies that entered the local market by Gurieli brand in this past August, managed to sell 10 tons of tea during two months already that translated into GEL 380 thousand on financial language. It has been exporting 100% of its product till this year, 50% of which goes to US, and the remainder part was redistributed on Europe and Ukraine.  Geoplant has already secured about 70-80% of Tbilisi network including prestigious supermarkets as well as smaller trade outlets and distributes the Gurilei-branded product in Kutaisi and Batumi as well.
Samaia created a special distribution company Samaia Trading focused on sales of Samaia-branded product alone and plans to enter all possible trade outlets throughout the country so as to make its product available to everyone here.

Georgian companies also plan to hit overseas markets by packed tea after conquering the local market. Geoplant is already getting through negotiations with Germany and plans to export packed tea to Berlin by the end of this year. Martvili Company plans to enter Ukrainian market and Ternali-branded tea will be exported to Poland soon. However Geo-agro-product, that produces Aisi-branded tea, sells packed tea in Great Britain starting 2004 and takes the premium segment. Georgian company exports its raw tea to Great Britain, its contracted dealer packs the tea and sell throughout the country via on-line network, Tamaz Mikadze, Director of Geo-agro-product, explains the mechanism.
“I take only premium segment in Georgia and Great Britain alike,” he said. However sales in Georgia go at a lower speed as of yet due to lack of awareness while in Great Britain the product is in great demand.

Other Stories
The most wanted fruits from Georgia
The fruit exportation has decreased in Georgia. According to Geostat (National Statistics Office of Georgia), this year, up until May Georgia exported 25 939 300 USD worth of fruit – 6 771 300 USD less than in 2018.
Investment Plan for Europe – Additional EUR 800 million for SMEs as EIF and ProCredit double support for innovative companies
The European Investment Fund (EIF) and ProCredit Group are providing an additional EUR 800 million to innovative small and medium-sized companies (SMEs),
Everything of comfortable life in one space – Second part of construction of one of the largest apartment complexes finished in Tbilisi
Apartment in ecologically clean environment, thousands of square meters of green yard, swimming pools, places for various sports activities, treks for walking and running, commercial spaces – all these available in one space is not a fantasy.
Batumi awarded Europe's Leading Emerging Tourism Destination 2019
World Travel Awards Europe Gala Ceremony 2019 took place on the 8th of June in Madeira, Portugal.
Coca Cola to open new factory in Georgia, will hire female drivers
Coca Cola is opening new factory in Georgia in December.
World's best party supply company now on the Georgian market
The largest party supply store in Georgia - MyDay is launching as the official distributor of AMSCAN from 2019.
Live as a marketing tool and an unprecedented live stream launched by Livetag
Sharing information has become smoother and more versatile in today’s technological world. Recently, live streaming, an online streaming media has become especially popular.
Theme and program of Caspian Energy Forum Tbilisi – 2019 changed
“The 8th International Caspian Energy Forum Tbilisi – 2019, scheduled for June 21, will focus on the development of the Azerbaijan-Georgia relations in the field of economy and energy”,
Misunderstanding over Poti deep sea ports
There was misunderstanding around deep sea ports in Georgia – in Poti.
High demand for dollars or the investment decline – Why Georgian Lari depreciates
$1 equals GEL 2,7470 in the official rate set by the National Bank of Georgia (NBG).
PSP Group confirms negotiations regarding purchasing of GEO Hospitals
PSP Group confirms negotiations regarding purchasing of GEO Hospitals.
New life to be given to Dashbashi Canyon
Georgia’s Agency of Protected Areas is planning to give new life to Dashbashi Canyon in Tsalka (southeastern Georgia).
Who is constructing “Khadori 3” Hydropower Plant in Pankisi Gorge?
Clashes broke out in Pankisi Gorge, Georgia’s northeastern region between special forces and residents
Business Positive – Successful radio program from Radio Positive
Starting point of radio program Business Positive is to meet interesting people, communicate with them and deliver information that is interesting for the audience.
A factory of electric vehicles to be built in Kutaisi
Prime Minister Mamuka Bakhtadze stated that a factory of electric vehicles will be built in Kutaisi at the presentation of the Aigroup business group.
Qvevri-shaped hotel complex to be built in Telavi
A Qvevri-shaped hotel complex is scheduled to be built in the village of Shalauri in Telavi, Kakheti (east part of Georgia).
Georgian designers presented at Fashion World Tokyo 2019
The products of 11 Georgian designers are showcased at Fashion World Tokyo 2019,
Silknet raises $200 million in Eurobond issue
27 March 2019 - JSC Silknet (“Silknet”), one of Georgia’s leading telecommunications operators, has successfully priced a debut $200 million 5-year 11% senior unsecured bonds issue (the “Notes”).
Pistachio trees will be planted in Georgia
Dozens of hectares of Pistachio are planned to be planted in Georgia this year.
Toyota Safety Sense and Hybrid Technology
Toyota Caucasus, has presented two new models the 5th generation RAV4 and the 12th generation Corolla at Rustavi International Motorpark, several days ago.
Bidzina Ivanishvili “became number one oppressor of businesses in Georgia” - ICC Georgia chairman Fady Asly
Mr. Ivanishvili promised the business community to protect them from harassment and pressure, unfortunately his words died with the sunset of that day
The best brands of Belarus will be exhibited on a large-scale exposition in Tbilisi
"The Belarusians like to come to Georgia to relax near the sea in Batumi as well as to stay in sunny Kakhetia."
Don’t treat business like a hooker! - Georgian businessman Vasil Soprpmadze addresses politicians
Businessman Vasil Sopromadze, founder of the company "Fresco", addresses politicians
RAV4 No Compromise and Corolla Set to Impress – Two New Cars Presented by Toyota
Toyota Caucasus, the company constantly aspiring to greatness, has presented two new models the 5th generation RAV4 and the 12th generation Corolla.
Mamuka Khazaradze quits TBC bank, does not sell the TBC Bank share
I made a decision to leave TBC bank where I spent 27 years of my life
GEL Exchange Rate
Other Stories
Recently Toyota rolled out Global Campaign under this slogan that reflects the Olympic and Paralympic Spirit of Encouragement,
A couple from Switzerland combines Swiss tradition and technology with Georgian products. Their cheese is made in the Georgian mountains and sold in local stores and hotels.
It has been more than five years since the residents of Lilo village, near Tbilisi, cannot open their windows.
63 000 GEL was received by the Georgian Agro Export Group which is just a small part of the European Neighbourhood Programme for Agricultural and Rural development.
Georgian entrepreneur Guka Tavberidze, who runs his own business in the UK and does it quite well, has been invited by BBC
The grand opening of 7-star The Biltmore Hotel Tbilisi took place in Georgia’s capital on July 31.
DUSHETI, Georgia – The Georgian government and the World Bank will allocate USD 5.6 million (12 million GEL) to fund
A new Georgian clothing brand named Person has emerged in Georgian market.
Georgia is in the midst of an economic maelstrom, Euronews reports.
Situation at Georgia’s mineral water market is interesting: over the last year, the volume of export has grown by 56 percent. According to “GeoStat”, over $114 million worth of mineral water was sold
GEL Exchange
July 2019
Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
8 9 10 11 12 13 14
15 16 17 18 19 20 21
22 23 24 25 26 27 28
29 30 31