(1) Seen from Chinese tea trade developing history, we can conclude that although tea is old with a long history, it can always keep young and fashionable spirit.
It is well known that China is the birthplace of tea over 2,000 years ago. From the Warring States (475-221 B. C.) period when the tea was first recorded in the historical book to the publishing of the first special took on tea in Xi Jin period "Tea Doctrine" written by Lu Yu，a systematic theory about the planting, picking, manufacturing, making (of tea), as well as about the history, place of production, its functions of tea, and etc, was born in China.
With the progress of social civilization, the tea has developed from medicine soup to a kind of daily beverage, meanwhile it gave birth to tea banquet, tea ceremony, tea theory and tea art. It is a drink enjoyed by both high officials, noble lords and the average people as well. The tea tree developed from wild plants to garden decorations, with a varieties of over 1,000.The tea sources have expanded from Bashu areas to the provinces of Jiangnan area.
In ancient times, the trade of tea originated in Tang period, perfected in Ming and Qing dynasties and contributed lot to the exchanges of economy and culture between nations.
Since Qing dynasty, the trade of tea with western world began and become an important goods transported on the famous Silk Road.
Since the founding of the People's Republic of China, the tea trade had revived from years of war and riot.
Especially, since the reform and open-up policy was adopted 25 years ago, the tea trade and tea culture witnessed a new development in China. Now tea has taken the third place in beverage industry next only to coffee, carbonated and fruit juice beverages and has become a national drink in China. The appearance of bag tea marks the beginning of a new fashion.
(2) Tea is not only a drink, is has created a special culture-tea culture.
Tea, as a drink, is well known and loved by the people home and abroad.
But the tea culture, namely tea art and tea ceremony, may be a new concept for some people. Through making and drinking of tea, the Chinese people has created tea culture with its core conception features “Clear, quiet, elegance and harmony".
"Clear" means upright, just and probity. Using tea to replace wine used to be a pioneering deeds advocated in ancient China. It is also an embodiment of modem spiritual civilization. Since 1982, tea became the dink instead of wine appeared in the Spring Festival Party held by the central government. It has been following till today.
"Quiet" means calm in heart and happy in mind. Drinking tea needs a quiet environment and it itself will create a peaceful and tranquil atmosphere free of worry. By drinking tea, you could get a good mood and clear mind.
"Elegance" means graciousness and civilization. Tea drinking could help cultivate peopled cultural accomplishment and cultural grade.
In the world full of changes, troubles, even upheavals, people needs "Clear, quiet, elegance and harmony", namely they need tea culture. So you could see tea culture has taken root deeply in the psychological needs of the people. Tea culture is a unique flower in the garden of several thousand years' culture, as well as a new favorite m the life of modern people.
Keying in view of the world，tea is a great contribution made by China to the whole world.
With its natural and clear taste, tea has brought the enjoyment of courtesy, health and culture to the world people.
In the long history, the Chinese has been influencing different ages, different countries, different nationalities, and different societies.
In Tang Dynasty, the Chinese tea and tea culture was introduced to Korea and Japan and had deeply influenced the formation of their local tea ceremony style and tea culture. In Qing Dynasty, the overseas transport was developed and the international trade was boosting. During the period of Kangxi, the ocean fleets of Britain and Holland came to China for trade, taking back tea and tea culture to the west, which become the luxury of European imperial families. Tea products were then the main exporting commodities of China. The tea export controlled the Chinese tea production and sales.
From the mid 17th century to the mid 19th century, only China was exporting tea in the world, having monopolized the international market for 200 years. After 1974, China had been keeping the annual export volume of over 100 thousand tons, and in 1886, the export volume reached the historic record, with a total export volume of 134. 1 thousand tons.
In the mid and late 19th century, the western colonialists developed tea farms on a large scale in the southern Asia and produced and exported the black tea suitable for the western taste, which had gradually substituted the our overseas market. In the early 20th century, India and Ceylon had exceeded China in the tea export volume.
Since then, during the two world wars and the Japanese invasion to China, the people s livelihood were devastated and the overseas market encountered the destruction and closure. By 1949, the national tea export weighted less than 10 thousand tons.
After the funding of New China, the Party and the Government has been showing special concern on the tea industry and has been taking a series of effective measures. Over the past 55 years, the Chinese tea industry and its associate industries have achieved a great development. Our tea production has already been expanded to more than 1,000 counties in 20 provinces, municipalities and autonomous regions. During the period from 1950 to 1999, the total export volume of tea reached 4.69 millions, earning US Dollars 8.2 billion. Especially, the period of reform and opening up is the major development period of the Chinese tea industry. Currently, our tea farms have a total area of 1.1 million hectares, ranking the first in the world, and the total tea production volume is the world's second place.
We must be aware that the current world s tea market is still for the black tea. The tea brands of Sri Lanka, India, Japan, and South Korea are a group of independent warlords fighting and boosting in the North American and European markets. In the today's world tea trading, the native town of tea has not yet produced any tea classics. Biluochun, Longjing, Oolong, and Puer that have pleasant names but not famous brands have currently impressed people for being not green, clean or environment-protective and have been instinctively rejected by the European and American merchants. When the agricultural deficiency shading the tea town of China and international markets showing doubts on the native town of tea, as Chinese and as Chinese tea people, can we still sit idle?
Green tea is a cup of regaining agent. The sense of urgency has already been drumming. At the grand gathering of tea people and by this window of exchange and exhibition, we need to take the rare opportunity to review ourselves and learn from the world modestly.
We need to think about:
How to resolve the problems of backward management, rough operation, low-quality products, and low economic benefits?
How to resolve the problems of low industrialization, low market formation, and low organization standard?
How to resolve the problems of incomplete laws, insufficient protection of knowledge property, and lack of well-known brands?
How to respond to the challenge of international modernized high-tech tea industry to the domestic conventional modes for tea production and management?
How to respond to the challenge of international batching trade pattern to the domestic closed market?
How to respond to the challenge of technical barricade of international trade to the Chinese tea export?
Where is the road for developing the Chinese tea industry? We believe that "three strategies" have to be implemented:
The first is the industrialization. Only when it is industrialized can the tea business be market - based, can the market mechanism be introduced to the production and sales of tea, and can the tea industry be modernized. Only by strengthening the construction of tea production bases and raising the professional standard of tea farmers can the modern technology be used to solve the problems of tea quality and taste and can the standardization be achieved. We should improve the dovetail of production and sales, complete the link between the domestic trade and foreign trade and regulate the industrial chain to create new leading enterprises of Chinese tea industry .
The second is the brand formation. China has numerous famous teas. Yet, famous teas are not equal to famous brands. To strengthen the transform of famous teas into famous brands, the critical point is to enhance the consciousness about the knowledge property right and brand, to accelerate the promotion of the protection label of origin, to strive to create the trademarks and trade- names of enterprises dealing with tea business, to speed up the formation of the complete brand series of famous tea, famous towns, and famous brands for Chinese tea, and to contain Chinese tea culture into the Chinese tea brands.
The third is the internationalization. We should grasp the trend of the international tea industry, understand, accommodate with and deploy the norms of international trade especially the tea trade, link the domestic market with the international market, be aware of our gap, direct and organize our tea production and circulation with the internationalized standards and also thoroughly recognize and give a play to our own characteristics and advantages. China is the origin of tea and tea culture and has the full capacity to rebound. With tea and leaves and being green and natural, the Chinese special green tea complies with the world's trend for the primitiveness and greenish and will definitely take the lead of fashion again.
Tea trade is an industry integrating city and countryside, integrating substance and culture, as well as an industry integrating tradition and fashion，integrating China and the world. It is also an important component of green economy. Only by the sound coordination of many sides of the society, could the tea trade flourish.
Therefore, we would like to take this opportunity to call on tea farmers, tea merchant, tea-lovers of China as well as all those who cherish the development of China's tea trade: Let us unite and strive to develop China, s tea trade under the guidance of the overall，coordinated and sustainable scientific conception.
Let us embrace the bright future of China tea trade with our constant efforts.
Chinese Teaman Friendship Association
China Chamber of Commerce for Import and Export of
Foodstuffs Native Produce and Animal By-products
China Tea Marketing Association
China Brandname Cultivation Committee
China International Institute of Tea Culture
Overseas Chinese Tea Research and Development Foundation
Research Association of Wu Juenong's Theory on Tea
Tea Science Society of China
The International Tea Institute of Tea Science and Culture
Zhejiang Tea Professional Chamber of Commerce,
China Chamber of International Commerce
Organizing Committee of China Tea Expo