Indian Tea Association Celebrated International Tea Day

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News Desk, News Nation 360 : Indian Tea Association, the leading and premier Association of tea producers reached out to lovers of tea worldwide virtually by organizing a Webinar to celebrate the International Tea Day, an annual event of the United Nations Calendar which was observed on 21st May this year. Indian tea industry’s persistent emphasis on sustainability across the value chain from the bush to the cup was elaborately deliberated in the first session of the Webinar which had wide-ranging discussions and Q&A sessions on an array of sustainability issues encompassing economic, social, and environmental challenges being faced by the sector. The deliberations covered stagnant prices, adversities posed by climate change such as flood erosion and waterlogging, and their redressal measures also figured in the panel discussions participated by Nayantara Palchoudhuri, Vice-Chairperson ITA, Dr J.B Ekka, Principal Secretary, Labour & Welfare Dept,  Govt of Assam, Will Battle, Managing Director Fine Tea Merchants Ltd, UK, Dr. Shathadru Chattopadhayay - Managing Director Solidaridad Asia, Bijoy Gopal Chakraborty, President Confederation of Indian Small Tea Growers Associations (CISTA), Dr Madhulika Jonathan - Chief of UNICEF Assam and North East India, Dr Barbel Weiligmann - Senior Advisor for Workforce Nutrition (GAIN), Rathin Chatterjee, Consulting Chartered Engineer RNC Consultancy Services and Kirtiman Awasthi - Senior Policy Advisor, Climate Change GIZ India. It is notable that in its war against the Covid 19 menace, the members of ITA in both Assam and WB have spontaneously responded with seamless adoption of new normals and adherence to safety protocols even before the pandemic had hit India in March 2020 and since then the industry has sustained its drive relentlessly sparing no efforts at ensuring the safety of its workforce, their families as well during all stages of production from plucking to packaging and thereafter all along the value chain to the point of sale. The adherence levels in tea gardens have since been lauded by the State Governments and other reputed agencies. The second session commenced with a presentation on export prospects by ITA chairman, Vivek Goenka. The Industry is focused on harnessing its export potential in markets where the prospects of Indian teas appear significantly bright. India makes 1400 million kg of tea in North & South India. It is the largest black tea producer and the second-largest overall tea producer in the world. India’s tea exports are around 250 mkg and total consumption is around 1100 mkg which is steadily increasing @2.32% every year. Tea Board commissioned a pan India study in 2018. The findings of the study are interesting : Large population around 64% of the total population drink Tea, However, per head consumption, is only 786 mkg which is low in comparison to many countries like UK, Ireland, Turkey, etc.  So there is a need to promote tea to reach this Ph.D. consumption to at least 1 kg per year, In India, ‘at home’ consumption is high compared to ‘out of home’ consumption, One interesting feature is that consumers are ready to pay more for a good cup of tea. They are ready to pay Rs 100/kg more to get their good tea from the same brand, Tea has many health benefits which consumers are not aware of. In this Covid pandemic, ITA has initiated tea promotion in social media and highlighting such health benefits. The Webinar organized in two parts viz Sustainability – Way Forward for Inclusive Development and Indian Tea -  A Leading global beverage“ had panel discussions featuring experts on the subjects of sustainability and tea marketing from the Government, UNICEF, various organizations covering US, UK, Russia, Malaysia, Egypt and of course the host country, India.

Pic : Courtesy

Report : Anustup Kundu