TANZANIA – The Tanzania Bureau of Standards (TBS) has opened an investigation after a Tanzanian tea manufacturing company marketed Kenyan tea in the East African nation packaged in containers bearing the Tanzanian trademark.
The inquiries were started in response to a popular video in which a man from Tanzania expressed his displeasure at purchasing premium Kenyan tea that was packaged as Tanzanian tea.
The tea brand in question is Tanzania Safari Premium Tea, although the packaging claims that the tea is actually from Kenya.
“Our Tanzanian leaders, I don’t know how this product has been packaged. I purchased Tanzanian tea. It has a giraffe on its packaging, and it has the TBS mark of quality as you can see here but what is shocking is that on the other side of the same tin, it has been written Safari Premium tea and has a lion on the same packaging but the description of the product says premium quality Kenyan tea,” the consumer echoed.
The packaging on the Tanzanian brand container read, “The high-quality Kenyan tea is dark, blackish in color, and has a very strong aroma. Our renowned tea experts choose the best quality teas from the selected tea estates of Kenya and expertly blend them to give the finest cup quality you desire. Safari tea reaches your cup with a guarantee of unmatched freshness and truly satisfying flavor.”
The tea was, however, unlawfully smuggled into Tanzania from Kenya as the TBS confirmed after the video and the ensuing outcry.
TBS made it clear that the Dar es Salaam-based Afri Tea and Coffee Blenders Ltd Factory was granted permission to use the TBS standards mark under the condition that all of their products are made in Tanzania using locally obtained raw materials.
TBS claimed that earlier inspections revealed the Tanzanian factory to be operating as expected, but a February 20, 2023 check revealed that they had imported tea as raw material from Kenya in October 2022 without notifying TBS in advance as required by the regulations.
Afri Tea & Coffee Blenders Ltd traces its origins back to 1963 and is one of Tanzania’s oldest and most reputed food and beverage firms.
“This issue is being addressed and appropriate measures will be taken in accordance with the law,” said TBS in its February 21, 2023, statement.
Kenyan tea is famous for its distinct taste and flavor and is globally renowned. Kenya is the third-largest exporter of tea globally, after China and Sri Lanka, and the largest exporter of black tea.