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Call to bridge gap with bought leaf sector

By Staff Correspondent
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DIBRUGARH, Oct 29 � The Assam Bought Leaf Tea Manufacturers� Association (ABLTMA) has said that efforts to take the bought leaf tea sector to the international level by implementing schemes of global importance like Plant Protection Code (PPC) and Trustea would be ineffective without addressing the issues of disparity and negligence.

�We feel it is a difficult task to take the bought leaf tea sector to the desired international level due to the existing gap between the teas produced by established companies and teas produced by the bought leaf tea sector. The bought leaf sector should not be looked down upon as a stepbrother and should be wholeheartedly accepted by companies and international buyers, taking them as a part of the international tea fraternity,� ABLTMA chairman Chand Kumar Gohain said.

The ABLTMA�s statement comes in the wake the Tea Board of India bringing in a schedule of safe chemicals to be used in tea plantations under the scheme and regulations called the PPC. In the aftermath of the growing international concern over the uncontrolled use of chemicals, the Tea Board of India is also introducing a certification for manufacturers under Trustea to ensure health, hygiene and safety of the people engaged in processing tea and also to look after the standard of living of the people engaged both in cultivation and manufacturing.

Awareness campaigns on the implementation of the PPC and Trustea were conducted among the members of the ABLTMA recently by the Tea Board of India and a team of top tea buyers and merchants of the country at the Gymkhana Club here.

The leaders of the bought leaf tea sector said that the PPC and Trustea are of paramount significance to growers, manufacturers and people who drink tea across the world. They also expressed satisfaction that buyers of international repute were reaching out to them to interact on such important issues.

Gohain said that apart from the little step initiated by the Tea Board recently, the bought leaf tea sector was not given any major consideration by top tea merchants and big tea producing houses. Unless the disparities and negligent attitude towards the bought leaf tea sector are addressed, the implementation of schemes like the PPC and Trustea will be ineffective, he said, adding that any scheme of the Tea Board percolates through big tea manufacturing houses to small tea houses and then to the bought leaf manufacturing sector.

As far as the implementation the of PPC is concerned, the ABLTMA said that it is fully related to plantations and since small growers are semi-literate, it would be almost impossible for them to implement the scheme at this stage.

�Unless a large-scale drive is taken up and growers are educated on the scheme, it may not be possible to carry forward the job. We feel Trustea can play a significant role in educating small tea growers and improving cultivation practices in their fields which, in turn, will enhance our quality. The Tea Board, buyers and implementing agencies must not take such steps in a haste which may paralyse small growers and the bought leaf manufacturing sector. This might push us to such a position from where recovery would become impossible,� the ABLTMA chairman said.

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Call to bridge gap with bought leaf sector

DIBRUGARH, Oct 29 � The Assam Bought Leaf Tea Manufacturers� Association (ABLTMA) has said that efforts to take the bought leaf tea sector to the international level by implementing schemes of global importance like Plant Protection Code (PPC) and Trustea would be ineffective without addressing the issues of disparity and negligence.

�We feel it is a difficult task to take the bought leaf tea sector to the desired international level due to the existing gap between the teas produced by established companies and teas produced by the bought leaf tea sector. The bought leaf sector should not be looked down upon as a stepbrother and should be wholeheartedly accepted by companies and international buyers, taking them as a part of the international tea fraternity,� ABLTMA chairman Chand Kumar Gohain said.

The ABLTMA�s statement comes in the wake the Tea Board of India bringing in a schedule of safe chemicals to be used in tea plantations under the scheme and regulations called the PPC. In the aftermath of the growing international concern over the uncontrolled use of chemicals, the Tea Board of India is also introducing a certification for manufacturers under Trustea to ensure health, hygiene and safety of the people engaged in processing tea and also to look after the standard of living of the people engaged both in cultivation and manufacturing.

Awareness campaigns on the implementation of the PPC and Trustea were conducted among the members of the ABLTMA recently by the Tea Board of India and a team of top tea buyers and merchants of the country at the Gymkhana Club here.

The leaders of the bought leaf tea sector said that the PPC and Trustea are of paramount significance to growers, manufacturers and people who drink tea across the world. They also expressed satisfaction that buyers of international repute were reaching out to them to interact on such important issues.

Gohain said that apart from the little step initiated by the Tea Board recently, the bought leaf tea sector was not given any major consideration by top tea merchants and big tea producing houses. Unless the disparities and negligent attitude towards the bought leaf tea sector are addressed, the implementation of schemes like the PPC and Trustea will be ineffective, he said, adding that any scheme of the Tea Board percolates through big tea manufacturing houses to small tea houses and then to the bought leaf manufacturing sector.

As far as the implementation the of PPC is concerned, the ABLTMA said that it is fully related to plantations and since small growers are semi-literate, it would be almost impossible for them to implement the scheme at this stage.

�Unless a large-scale drive is taken up and growers are educated on the scheme, it may not be possible to carry forward the job. We feel Trustea can play a significant role in educating small tea growers and improving cultivation practices in their fields which, in turn, will enhance our quality. The Tea Board, buyers and implementing agencies must not take such steps in a haste which may paralyse small growers and the bought leaf manufacturing sector. This might push us to such a position from where recovery would become impossible,� the ABLTMA chairman said.