FAO: Giornata Internazionale del Tè del 21 maggio 2021

International Tea Day, 21 May 2021: Tea: Resilient, Sustainable and Healthy from field to cup

Virtual celebration to highlight health benefits and economic importance of tea – focus on measures to address the socio-economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic

Tea is the world’s most consumed drink, after water. Its production and processing provide employment and income to millions of smallholder growers in developing countries.

Global trade of tea in 2020 was affected by logistics issues and measures imposed to contain the COVID-19 pandemic. However, increasing in-home consumption of tea more than offset declining out-of-home consumption in many instances. During the first weeks of lockdown in several countries, in-home tea sales surged, increasing by 75 percent in some consuming countries.

This year, the International Tea Day will discuss ways to boost sustainable tea production amid the pandemic and adopt new business models and technologies to ensure access to markets for smallholder farmers in this new reality.

On 19 December 2019, the United Nations General Assembly proclaimed 21 May as the International Tea Day, following an initiative by the FAO Intergovernmental Group on Tea.

The Day also aims to raise awareness of the tea’s health benefits and its importance as a heritage and a basis for smallholder livelihoods. The observance will highlight FAO´s Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Systems (GIAHS) programme, since four of the sites recognized as part of the world´s agricultural heritage represent tea-producing locations.

The event will bring together the world’s top tea exporting and importing countries as well as major producing countries.

You can register here.

The event will be webcast here.

The celebration can be followed on social media using the hashtags #InternationalTeaDay and #TeaDay

What: International Tea Day 2020 – Virtual celebration

When: Friday, 21 May 2021, 12:30 -15:15 (Rome time)


  • QU Dongyu, Director-General, FAO
  • Inam Karimov, Minister for Agriculture, Azerbaijan
  • TANG Renjian, Minister for Agriculture and Rural Affairs, China (video message)
  • Raychelle A. Omamo, Cabinet Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Kenya (TBC)
  • Maneesh Gobin, Attorney General, Minister for Agro-Industry and Food Security, Mauritius
  • Anup Wadhawan, Commerce Secretary, India
  • Shabnam Weber, President, Tea and Herbal Association, Canada
  • Maximo Torero CullenFAO Chief Economist

The Ceremony will be followed by a Panel Discussion moderated by Claire Doole, former BBC journalist.

Guest panellists:

  • Rachmat Badruddin, Chairman of the Confederation of International Tea Smallholders (CITS) Indonesia Tea Board
  • Prabhat Bezboruah, Chairman of Tea Board India
  • Peter F. Goggi, President, Tea Association of the U.S.A., Inc
  • Sharon Hall, Chief Executive, UK Tea & Infusions Association, United Kingdom
  • Pavithri Peiris, Director, Promotion, Sri Lanka Tea Board

Where: FAO webcast   


Potential brewing for Azerbaijani and Georgian tea industries – 20 May, 12:00-15:00 (Rome time)

A virtual celebration of Azerbaijani and Georgian tea, hosted by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), will be held on the eve of the Second International Tea Day, on 20 May.

The event is an opportunity to highlight the potential of the two countries to produce high quality teas and discuss options for sustainable sector development, including carbon neutrality, based on the key findings of the joint FAO-EBRD tea sector reviews in Georgia and Azerbaijan.

The event will feature Vladimir Rakhmanin, FAO Assistant Director-General and Regional Representative for Europe and Central Asia; Inam Karimov, Minister of Agriculture of the Republic of Azerbaijan, and Levan Davitashvili, Minister of Environmental Protection and Agriculture of Georgia.

To join the conversation, please register here.