DIBRUGARH, Nov 19 � The Assam Bought Leaf Tea Manufacturers� Association (ABLTMA) and the All India Manufacturers� Organisation (AIMO), Tea Division, have agreed to resume operations after earlier adopting an unanimous resolution �not to buy green tea leaves till the Tea Board of India created a congenial atmosphere.� The two tea manufacturers� bodies decided to restart operations after some resolutions were adopted following the intervention of the district administration, the District Industries and Commerce Centre (DICC), Tea Board of India and growers� associations.
The administration and all the stakeholders resolved that the name and fame of Assam tea, which has seen a decline, needs to be restored in the larger interest of the State. The Tea Board of India has sought the support of all stakeholders in this regard, stating that the minimum quality standard of green tea leaves has been stipulated to ensure a qualitative improvement in Assam tea.
The Tea Board of India has assured its full support in holding awareness campaigns and training programmes. It urged the factories� associations and growers� associations to help turn quality improvement into a mass movement. The Tea Board also clarified that as stated by the Deputy Commissioner and chairman, District Level Price Monitoring Committee, the minimum quality standards of green tea leaves are directly related to the minimum benchmark price as declared from time to time.
Aswini Baruah, president, All Assam Small Tea Growers� Association, State committee, suggested the formation of a joint coordination committee between the growers� associations and the factories� associations to resolve the differences. It also suggested the methodology to the Tea Board of India for the implementation of price sharing in future and avoiding misunderstanding.
HK Das, ADC, suggested that area-wise committees between the growers� associations and factories� associations should be formed to settle the issues on a mutual basis. Further, a coordination committee between the growers� associations and the factories� associations should be formed to give suggestions to the Tea Board of India for the betterment of the tea industry, he said.
The bought leaf factory associations agreed that their members would abide by the price sharing between the green leaf suppliers in the ratio of 65:35 as per the TMCO on an annualised basis.
In view of the assurance of no further actions on the monthly e-returns uploaded by the factories, CK Gohain and Deven Singh committed to resume the green leaf buying operations among their member factories. They also said that in view of the challenges being faced by the tea industry, particularly the bought leaf factories, considering that the Tea Board of India intends to implement the Plant Protection Code and Trustea, a proposal is being mooted to form a federation of bought leaf associations.
As a first step, a meeting is scheduled to be held at the Gymkhana Club on November 25 where all bought leaf factories of Assam, irrespective of association affiliation will deliberate on future challenges.