World Stamps

Pane of 10 U.N. stamps and labels recognizes tea’s global significance

May 11, 2023, 8 AM
New United Nations stamps display different types of teas and teapots on a pane of 10 stamps to be issued May 21, International Tea Day. The 1.10-franc stamps are for use from the U.N. post office in Geneva, Switzerland.

By David Hartwig

The United Nations Postal Administration recognizes International Tea Day with a pane of 10 stamps to be issued May 21 for use from the U.N. post office at the Palais des Nations in Geneva, Switzerland.

The 1.10-franc stamps display different types of teas and teapots.

Tea holds cultural significance in many societies throughout the world, and the beverage is the world’s most consumed drink after water.

Tea comes from the Camellia sinensis plant, and while the exact place the plant first grew is not known, it is believed that tea originated in northeast India, north Myanmar and southwest China, according to the United Nations. Evidence points to the consumption of tea in China 5,000 years ago.

The U.N. General Assembly established May 21 as International Tea Day in 2019. According to the United Nations, the day raises awareness of the long history and deep cultural and economic significance of tea.

The goals of International Tea Day include encouraging the sustainable production and consumption of tea and raising awareness of tea’s importance in fighting hunger and poverty.

According to the United Nations, the tea industry provides jobs for millions of families in developing countries and is a main source of income for some of the poorest countries. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations reported that the world produced an estimated 6.5 million metric tons of tea in 2021.

As one of the most important cash crops in developing countries, tea plays a significant role in rural development, poverty reduction and food security, the United Nations said.

Its production and processing relate to the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals of reducing extreme poverty, fighting against hunger, empowering women, and using terrestrial ecosystems sustainably.

Sergio Baradat of the United Nations designed the pane of stamps. The pane is perforated down the middle, with five stamps appearing on either side of the perforation.

A se-tenant (side-by-side) label with the U.N. logo appears to the left of each stamp. Although the UNPA calls this pane a “special event sheet,” customers can personalize the labels with a photograph replacing the U.N. logo by visiting the U.N. headquarters or by uploading their photographs to the UNPA website.

The selvage of the pane shows additional images related to tea on either side of the perforations, along with text in French that translates to International Tea Day. The two bottom corners of the pane feature the U.N. logo.

For ordering information for the May 21 International Tea Day stamps and related products, visit the UNPA website; email; telephone 212-963-7684 or 800-234-8672; or write to UNPA, Box 5900, Grand Central Station, New York, NY 10163-5900.

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