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Consumption of black tea is set to grow by 1.8%, from about 3.3 million tons to 3.36 million tons by 2021.

Kenya has the largest share of the EAC tea exports.

However, relative to consumption of green teas and herbal/fruit teas, the consumption of black tea is decreasing. Kenya is the third largest tea producer (after China and India) and the largest exporter of black tea in the world. It is also the largest tea supplier to the European market (21.3 percent of total imports in 2015).

Top Tea Producers and Consumers worldwide

Source: World Atlas on Top Tea Producers worldwide

Top Tea Consumers worldwide 2018

Source: World Atlas on Top Tea Consumers per capita Worldwide

Tea Production in EAC

Tea Production in the EAC region between 2014 and 2018


EAC Tea Export values

Trade values of Tea between 2015 – 2019 in USD

Source: ITC calculations based on UN COMTRADE and ITC statistics.

Market share for the Tea Export in 2019 from EAC region

Source: ITC calculations based on UN COMTRADE and ITC statistics.

MARKUP interventions in the tea sector

Interventions in  Burundi, Kenya and Tanzania

  • Training in Sensory Analysis and Tea Blending was conducted in Kenya and Tanzania. 25 participants learned about exploring the language of taste and the technical aspects of tea tasting, blending processes and techniques, as well as EU market regulations, and global market trends in tea consumption such as health, wellness, convenience and sustainability.
  • 12 tea producers from Burundi travelled to Kenya for hands-on capacity building together with selected organisations in Kenya.
  • 18 experts from the Kenyan tea sector participated in a training workshop on Resource Efficiency and Circular Production. The aim is to optimise the use of resources such as water and energy and introduce new ways of reusing, recycling and reducing waste production.
  • 11 SMEs in the tea sector in Burundi and Kenya were supported to improve their branding, marketing and packaging. Practical tips for the production of marketing materials and products, such as logos, business cards, websites and social media platforms, were part of the course.
  • In Kenya, seven SMEs learned how to improve packaging and traceability system in the tea sector. The improvements cited include introduction of cheaper packaging for lower end products; quality of fibre tear on teabag cartons; acquisition of coders for better traceability; and improved sealing and stacking of cartons.
  • 11 officials from Trade & Investment Support Institutions (TISIs) in the tea sector in the region were equipped with knowledge and skills or improved monitoring, evaluation and managing results for more effective trade promotion.