Global Market Report: Tea

Global demand for tea is growing despite sustainability challenges.

By Vivek Voora, Steffany Bermúdez, Cristina Larrea on December 17, 2019

Key Messages

  • At a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of about 35 per cent from 2008 to 2016, volumes of tea produced in compliance with voluntary sustainability standards (VSSs) have reached at least 19 per cent of overall production.
  • The greatest potential for expanding VSS-compliant tea production lies in the main growing countries, such as China, India and Sri Lanka.
  • Some Low Human Development Countries (LHDCs) where VSS-compliant tea is produced show promising signs of growth, which could be leveraged if the expected demand growth of more sustainable tea balances the existing oversupply.

The tea report is the third in the Sustainable Commodities Marketplace Series from IISD, which presents sustainable production and consumption market information on agricultural commodities to foster transparency, knowledge and strategic decision making for sustainable development. The first report, on coffee, and the second on cocoa were launched in 2019. Future reports will focus on the production of bananas, cotton, palm oil, soybeans and sugar. 

Report details

Standards and Value Chains
State of Sustainability Initiatives
Focus area
IISD, 2019