In this week, we are going to make the Interview with Ko Lin Pyae Htun who is the Director of Maw Shan Green Tea and Laphet
1. We would like to begin the interview with some biographical information. Can you please let me know about yourself ?
As a third generation of Maw Shan Green Tea and Laphet business I mostly act as Director of Research and Development. I graduated with Bachelor of Mathematics and I’m also currently participating as a secretary in Myanmar Tea Cluster organisation.
2. When did you become the Director of Maw Shan and How did you start it ?
I worked in my family business since I was attending university as a part time job. After I graduated I started working full-time and mainly emphasised tea quality control and nature of it.
3. What are the main products of your company/business ?
At “Maw Shan” , we primarily manufacture, process and distribute Green Tea, Organic Tea and Laphet(Pickled Tea Leaves). Our main products are:
-Maw Shan Glutinous Tea
-Maw Shan Green Tea
-Maw Shan Gold Tea
Our other brand, “Shan Shan” makes Pickled Tea leaves and Assorted Fried Peas and Beans in all City Mart Supermarkets, Ocean Hyper Markets, Orange Supermarkets, Sein Gay Har.
4. Do you have factory or workshop by your own in Myanmar ?
We have two factories in Myanmar, One is a manufacturing factory in Pindaya, Southern Shan State where some of the best quality tea in Myanmar is produced. In this manufacturing factory we have at least 15 to 25 staffs depending on the tea season and more then 200 of suppliers tea farmers. In this factory we process the tea with a steaming machine, rolling machine, and drying machine. All processing is done in one day to ensure freshness.
Our other factory is a packaging and processing factory in Yangon located in Mingalardon Township. At this factory we package all our green tea products. This is also where we keep our tea in good storage conditions. In the Yangon factory we are running with at least 50 to 60 daily wage labours and 20 permanent staffs.
5. What are the main challenges you face as a Myanmar manufacturers ?
Being a manufacturer in Myanmar, particularly for those of us in agriculture, has it’s own set of challenges. In tea farms there is often a lack of knowledge about how to maintain quality and take care of the tea bushes. But now we get support from The Germany Government based project in Southern Shan State with GIZ. In the market also there are a lot of competitors. Particularly market sellers that import tea from other countries and can offer and cheaper and often times more trusted product. In my opinion, our government does not offer us enough protection. India has a good model in that they charge a 100% tax on any imported tea products to help support and protect their farmers. Another problem is with one of our traditional foods, Laphet (Pickled Tea Leaves), which is very unique product for our country. Currently we are facing issues with standardisation in products as well as food hygiene.
6. Are you exporting to other countries ?
Currently we are already to exporting green tea with the cooperation with GIZ to Germany. We are also forming relationships with other potential buyers from Japan, Ireland, UK, and China.
7. Do you have oversea Exports, Imports, Oversea Buyers and Trade Partners ?
We now have a trade partnership with the German Tea Company. They provided us with the Organic Tea Certificate to become one of their trusted tea suppliers from Myanmar. For the Laphet (Pickled Tea) we are also speaking with potential buyers from Ireland and UK, who really like Myanmar tea.
8. Do you want to say anything to our MadeInMyanmar.asia Web Portal ?
I’m just so thankful for all those questions above and Made In Myanmar Asia website. It’s great to see all locally made products in one place and I’m proud to be among them.