Why Turkey subsidises organic tea

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.

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.


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)。
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%。

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


Was this helpful?

0 / 0