The tea industry is booming in southwest China's Guizhou Province.
The State Post Bureau recently announced that the 30 billionth parcel sent in China this year was a package of tea from Guizhou's Meitan County.
This year, the tea plantations in Guizhou are expected to top 467,000 hectares, producing 270,000 tonnes of tea worth more than 50 billion yuan (7 billion U.S. dollars).
Tea in Guizhou employs 4.7 million people, but for years the industry has been dawdling.
"Most tea companies in Guizhou were small with little idea about brand-building," said Hu Jicheng, deputy director of Guizhou's provincial commission of rural affairs. "Good quality tea was purchased cheaply by businessmen from other provinces and was put into products with non-Guizhou brands at higher prices."
Transportation in mountainous Guizhou has always been a problem, Hu said.
In 2014, the provincial government began to hold training sessions on tea packaging and international marketing. The Bank of Guizhou has granted close to 13 million yuan of loans to tea farmers.
Last year, the area of tea plantations in Guizhou became the biggest in China. More than 220,000 tonnes of tea worth about 40 billion yuan was produced in 2015.
This year, a series of companies, including Unilever, Swire and the state-owned COFCO Corporation, reached agreements respectively in Guizhou about tea sales and production.
"These developments show that Guizhou's tea has a big market impact and is becoming increasingly competitive," said Lu Chengyin, deputy head of the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences tea research institute.
The provincial government plans further development by encouraging better quality tea and processing to "make best use of tea resources."