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Scientific research - part of the German Tea Association's ongoing activities.

The Tea Association of Germany is an active trade organization made up of 42 trade members which include packers, importers and franchises (shops). The Association has been involved with scientific research with the chemistry department of the University of Braunschweig. The University has been studying the chemical compounds in tea and have analyzed the relationship of tannins within tea. So far, positive outcome has concluded that tea consumption has some effect as a pharmaceutical. Continuing research will study iron and aluminum compounds in tea.

The Association assists with national standardization for tea products and tries to influence the government on realistic requirements on foodstuffs. A tea taster panel is available for government arbitration and has been working on a Government request for written characteristics for quality.

The Tea Association is not inactive in Germany. Current EC problems with labeling and denomination of goods keep the organization striving to create harmonious rules to suit both the industry and government. The term "natural" can only be used for goods that don't need refrigeration. The Association is trying to keep tea labeled as a natural product but the government refuses since the product is dried and fermented When the government also approached the industry on weight standardization, the Association offered 50 proposals.

The main problem the Association confronts is the tea tax. Approximately 4.15 DM are added to 1.0 kilo of tea. This tax is passed down to the consumer which makes tea a more costly beverage. While the government has agreed to harmonize taxes, only a few products have had their taxes lifted (liquor, tobacco and mineral oil).

As of January 1, 1993, all tariffs and taxes will be abolished from one EC country to the next. Dutch tea will be able to go directly to stores in Turkey without any taxes applied. There has been a black market for tea as 10% of total German tea imports are smuggled out of the country.

Tekanne and Milford are the major packers in the German market, Lyons Tetley is represented with their brands, but they do not pack in Germany. Approximately 15,000 tons of tea flow into the free port of Hamburg and 35,000 tons go through Hamburg and Bremen to be re-exported. Taxes on tea are only applied to tea entering the German market, and not re-exports.

Olay Ellerbrock is chairman of the Tea Association and has been since 1972, a honor the industry continues to bestow on him. Dr. Gisella Panzer is the secretary of the Association which is also housed alongside the German Tea Council.

The German Tea Counsil, headed by Peter Fedder, managing director, coordinates the public relations and advertising activities in Germany. Recently, the Council has completed a video on the production of the and how it is distributed in Germany. The film is intended for sale and is available in English and German.

The Council also has catering promotional relationships where they teach the foodservice industry how to brew and advertise tea and how to maximize tea profits.
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Title Annotation:Association also involved with standardization for products, regulatory matters, taxation policies, public relations, advertising and promotion activities
Author:McCabe, Jane
Publication:Tea & Coffee Trade Journal
Date:Apr 1, 1992
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