Cover Story

On A Global Stage

A regulator for the tea industry in the country, the Tea Board of India is taking many initiatives for developing the sector in India and promoting it in the global arena

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In the world after water, tea is the largest consumed beverage. India is the second largest producer and consumer of tea globally, after China and is also the fourth largest exporter. The history of Indian tea is marked by many key milestones. Darjeeling, Assam and Nilgiri are the most famous Indian teas across the world, followed by Kangra and Munnar. The Tea Board of India does many promotional activities in India and overseas for the promotion of Indian origin teas. Indian tea has many competitors in the global tea market. China, Kenya and Sri Lanka are the three main competitors.

Tea plantation is a vibrant industry and in India many families are dependent on the sector. Eighty per cent of the tea which India produces is consumed domestically while 20 per cent is exported around the globe. Out of this 20 per cent, 10 countries including Russia, UAE, Egypt, Japan, Germany and UK account for three – fourth of the exports. Till the 1950s and 1960s, tea export used to be the biggest foreign exchange earner for India. The industry is currently earning around Rs 4000 – Rs 4500 crore from foreign exchange. It is a labour intensive industry engaging more than 12 lakh farmers.

20150315eh90With head office located in Kolkata, Tea Board of India has 23 offices which include Zonal, Regional and Sub-Regional Offices located at Conoor, Jorhat, New Delhi, Siliguri, Mumbai, Kochi, Coimbatore, Silchar, Kottayam, Guwahati, Darjeeling and other locations. It also maintains four Tea Bar/ Buffets. The three overseas offices are located in London, Dubai and Moscow. These foreign offices take up various promotional initiatives to boost the export of Indian tea. These offices also act as a liaison office for interaction between importers of Indian tea and Indian exporters.

Darjeeling produces India’s most celebrated tea. The world famous English Breakfast is blended from Assam tea. Tea in Assam is grown at almost sea level and is one of the finest black teas in the world. Nilgiri tea is aromatic and grows in the Blue Mountains of South India. It is also called the blender’s tea. Kangra tea is grown in the foothills of the Himalayas. Tea is also grown in the tropical rainforests of Annamalai. In Wayanad, tea shares its habitat with wildlife. Munnar is home to the highest growing tea in the world.

About Tea Board of India

The Tea Board of India has wide functions and responsibilities under the direction of the central government. Briefly the primary functions of the Tea Board of India are:

  • Rendering financial and technical assistance for cultivation, manufacturing and marketing of tea.
  • Export promotion
  • Aiding research and development activities for augmentation of tea production and improvement of tea quality
  • Extend financial assistance in a limited way to the plantation workers and their wards through labour welfare schemes
  • To encourage and assist both financially and technically the unorganised small growers sector
  • Collection and maintenance of statistical data and publication
  • Such other activities as are assigned from time to time by the Central Government.

(Source: Tea Board of India)

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