ITA favours rebranding of Assam tea to capture international market
Assam’s Orthodox and CTCs with their full-bodied and malty taste can be more sought-after overseas if we can channelize our efforts at rebranding
GUWAHATI: ITA (Indian Tea Association) Chairperson Nayantara Palchoudhuri said that “the name and fame of Assam’s tea spread far and beyond. Its worldwide popularity and acceptance are phenomenal. Assam’s Orthodox, a GI product, and CTCs with their full-bodied and malty taste can be more sought-after overseas if we can channelize our efforts at rebranding.”
The ITA chairperson said this at the 132nd annual general meeting of ABITA in Jorhat today.
She said with emphasis, “Our attention should now be directed towards such marquee estates producing the best tea that are sustainably certified and can be promoted under the Assam logo of a Gold Standard in the international market.”
Putting emphasis on domestic consumption of tea, she said, “Domestic consumption of tea in 2022 was estimated to be approximately 1179 million kg, increasing annually at a rate of 2.32 percent. The Tea Board has estimated current per capita consumption at 850 grams—an increase from 786 grams. A joint initiative with the participation of all stakeholders in the value chain will have a positive impact on increasing consumption patterns in the years ahead. I must also add that promotion of tea as a health beverage must continue.”
“The Chief Minister’s move of enhancing the Orthodox incentives under ATISIS Schemes from Rs 7- Rs 10 per kg from April 2022 is a progressive move. This clearly reflects the support of the State Government to the industry to synchronise its production profile to export needs and keep Assam tea’s pride of place intact as the leader of quality tea in the world,” she added, lauding the Chief Minister, Himanta Biswa Sarma.
She also lauded the Chief Minister for taking up the minimum floor price matter with the Union Commerce Ministry in support of the ITA proposal.
On the challenges before the tea industry, she said, “Formidable challenges continue to haunt the tea industry. A soaring cost of production without matching price realization amidst the perpetual increase in input costs is a retarding factor for growth. Climate change issues such as declining yields, pest infestations, and increased dependence on irrigation are additional worries. Therefore, a long-term strategy to address the challenges at hand and prepare the roadmap for sustenance is crucial.”
She further said, “The recent surge in imports in the last three years is a matter of concern. The surge in imports from Nepal, from 7 million kg to more than 15 million kg at a cost below the cost of production for Indian producers, has had an adverse impact on prices and the sale of Indian tea in the domestic market. Hence, to protect the domestic market, there is a need to strengthen the inspection and regulatory mechanisms.”