Tanzania investigating sale of illegal premium Kenyan tea in their country
The Tanzania Bureau of Standards (TBS) has launched investigations after a Tanzanian tea manufacturing company sold Kenyan tea packaged in a Tanzanian brand container in the East African country. The investigations were launched after a viral video by a Tanzanian man complaining about buying tea packaged as premium Tanzanian tea but was advertised to be Kenyan.
“Our Tanzanian leaders, I don’t know how this product has been packaged. I purchased Tanzanian tea. It has a giraffe on its packaging, 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. ‘Kenyan tea is famous for their distinct taste and flavor’. I don’t know who owns this tea but maybe the company should explain this to us because on one side it is written Kenya and on the other, it is written Tanzania. This is a Tanzanian brand, yes, but it is advertising Kenya. I think our leaders should help us understand what this means,” said the man.
The tea brand in question is Tanzania Safari Premium Tea but the contents in the packaging are said to be from Kenya.
“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 to give the finest cup quality you desire. Safari tea reaches your cup with a guarantee of unmatched freshness and truly satisfying flavor,” read the packaging on the Tanzanian brand container.
However, following the video and the accompanying uproar, the TBS revealed that the tea was illegally imported into Tanzania from Kenya. TBS clarified that the company producing the tea, Afri Tea and Coffee Blenders Ltd Factory and located in Dar es Salaam, was given license to use the TBS standards mark on the understanding that all their products are produced in Tanzania; and using raw products sourced from within the country.
TBS said that in earlier inspections, the Tanzanian factory was found to be operating as expected but upon an inspection carried out on February 20, 2023, it was found that they had imported tea as raw material from Kenya in October 2022 and did not give prior notification to TBS as required by the Scheme of Inspection and Test.
“This issue is being addressed and appropriate measures will be taken in accordance with the law,” said TBS in its February 21, 2023, statement.