Turkish tea company Caykur opens factory in northern Pakistan
Turkey’s state-run tea company Caykur has opened a factory in northern Pakistan.
The factory was inaugurated by the General Directorate of Tea Enterprises of Caykur in the Mansehra region, around 200 kilometers from the capital Islamabad.
Caykur Chairman Imdat Sutluoglu as well as Yusuf Zafar, the head of Pakistan’s Agricultural Research Council, and Farrukh Hamid, the head of Pakistan’s National Tea and High Value Crops Research Institute attended the inaugural ceremony.
Sutluoglu said that the factory would have a daily production capacity of five tons, Anadolu Agency reported. He said the idea of opening a factory came from Pakistan itself.
Sutluoglu said that the facility would make a great contribution to the development of tea farming in Pakistan. He said that Turkey is ready to support Pakistan on tea saplings as well.
“This plant is a small gift from Turkey to Pakistan,” he added.
Pakistanis consume a lot of tea and spent over 23 billion Pakistani rupees (around $220 million) on tea imports during the first six months of 2017, according to official data. Over the past two decades, the country’s tea imports have ballooned over 325 percent.
Speaking at the opening ceremony, Hamid said that Pakistan is a big tea market, as it imports tea from 16 countries.
Zafar said that for years Pakistanis thought foreign teas were better but “we need to get used to our own products.”
“As Turkey has been producing its own tea for the last 90 years, we should come to this level too,” he said, adding that the factory would help develop Pakistan’s tea industry.
After the opening ceremony, high-quality tea saplings brought from Turkey were planted in the factory garden.
Last August, Turkey donated an automatic tea-processing plant to Pakistan to support high-tech tea cultivation.
Caykur, founded in 1983, is a state-owned enterprise, and its processed-tea products include white, green, black, organic, leaf, and iced tea. Caykur exported tea to 110 countries in 2017 this year and is involved in 38 countries in Europe, 37 in Africa, 15 in Asia, 14 in the Mideast, and six in the Americas.