Why Turkey subsidises organic tea

 

It costs more and uses more land, but maybe foreigners will buy it.

THERE IS SO little Turks agree on these days that even settling on the country’s national drink is hard. Secularists pick raki, a tipple best had with grilled fish and music. Religious conservatives, including President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, insist on a milky and non-alcoholic drink called ayran.
A good thing, then, that there is tea, around which all can unite. An average Turk gets through about 3.5kg (7.7lb) of tea every year, or almost four glasses a day, ahead of every other country including Britain, India, China and Russia. Turkey is also the world’s sixth-biggest producer of the leaf. No one has ever entered a house or a government office in Turkey without being offered a glass. (Cups are for coffee, or for tourists.)
Now change is brewing in an ancient industry. The government is offering subsidies to tea farmers who go organic, hoping that well-heeled foreigners will then pay more for Turkish tea. The state tea company, Caykur, the country’s largest producer, will convert entirely to organic farming by 2023, modern Turkey’s centenary.
At one of the company’s factories near Rize, a drab city bordered on one side by the sea and by mountains draped in green carpets of tea on the other, the manager, Koksal Kasapoglu, says the policy has already yielded results. Organic production at Caykur has shot up from under 100 acres a decade ago to about 10,000 today, about 5% of the total area under cultivation, he says.
Tea owes its popularity in Turkey largely to price. In the second half of the 19th century, when tea arrived in the Ottoman empire, the economy was in decline. Many Turks chose the new drink over coffee, which they had been sipping for centuries, but which had become hard to afford.
Price is just as important today. Partly because organically grown tea requires more land to produce the same amount of crop, it costs roughly twice as much as the standard kind. Taxpayers’ cash can no doubt persuade many farmers to go organic. But with the economy sputtering, convincing Turkish tea-drinkers to buy the stuff will be harder.

翻译参考:

如今,土耳其人连在决定土耳其国民饮料这种事上都很难达成共识。世俗主义者选择雷基酒(raki,一种上等烈酒)搭配烤鱼和音乐来享用。而包括土耳其总统雷杰普·塔伊普·埃尔多安(Recep Tayyip Erdogan)在内的宗教保守主义者坚持饮用不含酒精的奶制饮品——咸酸奶(ayran)。
备注:土耳其人绝大多数信奉伊斯兰教,根据伊斯兰教的规定,教徒在日常生活中不饮酒。(来自维基百科)
值得开心的是,茶这种饮品能统一所有人的口味于一身。在土耳其,一位普通人每年要享用茶饮大约3.5千克(7.7磅),大约每天四杯,人均饮用茶量超过了英国、印度、中国、俄罗斯等其他所有国家。土耳其也是世界第六大茶叶生产商。在土耳其,但凡进入到别人家中或政府办公室,一定会被奉上用玻璃杯盛放的茶饮。(或者一杯咖啡。)
如今,一个古老的产业正悄然发生变化。政府资助那些种植有机茶的茶农,希望富裕的外国消费者能购买更多的土耳其茶。国有公司Caykur是土耳其最大的茶叶生产商,这家公司将于现代土耳其成立一百周年即2023年完全转化为有机种植。
Caykur公司的一家工厂位于里泽(Rize)附近,里泽(Rize)是一个单调的城市,一边临着山海,另一边是大片绿色的茶田。工厂经理科萨尔·卡萨波格鲁(Koksal Kasapoglu)称,政府的资助政策已见成效。Caykur的有机茶叶生产量大幅增长,已由十年前的100公顷增长到如今的10,000公顷,大约占到耕地面积的5%。
茶之所以在土耳其的盛行,很大程度上要归因于价格。19世纪下半叶,茶传播到奥斯曼帝国,当时的国家经济正处于衰退时期。很多土耳其人民选择茶饮作为咖啡的替代饮品。咖啡是土耳其人几个世纪以来一直享用的饮品,但当时的咖啡已经贵得他们支付不起了。
茶饮价格在今天也十分重要。一部分原因是有机茶叶比同等产量的作物需要更多的土地来培育,大约是标准作物产量占地面积的两倍。纳税人的钱无疑能鼓励很多农民种植有机茶。但是,在经济举步维艰的情况下,说服土耳其饮茶人士购买有机茶将会更加困难。

词汇短语:
Settle on sth 选定,决定
settle on a date 定下日子
settle on a project 选定一个题材
Average a. typical and usual 普通的;一般的;中等的
Well-heeled a.rich 富有的,有钱的
Cultivation n.耕作
Owe sth to sb 把某事归因于某人
Persuade sb to do 说服某人做某事
Convince sb to 说服某人做某事
Sputter v.If an activity sputters, it is weak and varied, and does not make people feel confident about it. 勉强进行,举步维艰

段落梗概:

Close