Author Archives: Pullock Dutta

India GST Rules Worry Exporters Concerned About Revealing Blending Recipes

Compliance with India’s new Goods and Services Tax (GST) reveals trade secrets that will hinder the competitive stance of tea blenders and exporters. Dipak Shah, chairman of the South India Tea Exporters’ Association (SITEA) told reporters that “asking for details of blends from exporters is like asking for Coca-Cola’s formula.” The tax requires exporters...

Golden Tea Strikes Gold

OYAN, ARUNACHAL PRADESH, India Artisan teas for refined palates have long earned boutique gardens outsized reputations and profits. It is a model pioneered in China and adapted in Darjeeling, West Bengal that spread to the Nilgiris in Southern India and now extends to Arunachal Pradesh where the Donyi Polo Tea Estate has established a...

India Tea Industry Concerned About ASEAN Trade Agreement

GOLAGHAT, ASSAM India’s domestic tea industry is sheltered from foreign competition by tariffs as high as 110 percent. A $10 kilo of tea imported from Kenya or Malaysia, China, or Japan, for example, is taxed $11 bringing the cost to $21 for wholesalers or larger retailers. Nepal is an exception, and not every type...

Canadian Peggy Carswell Keeps Phalap Brewing

MERGHERITA, Assam A sip of this golden orange color hot brew would fill your mouth with the smoky taste of a slightly bitter strong liquor. And after a round or two of the “not my cup of tea”, a feeling of rejuvenation runs through your body. Welcome to the world of phalap, an exotic...

Report Highlights Poor Healthcare in Assam’s Tea Estates

JORHAT, Assam, India India’s Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) has said that tea estate areas in Assam lack proper healthcare facilities and revealed that 37.69 percent of the maternal deaths reported during 2013–14 and 2015–16 were from tea garden areas. In India, the CAG enjoys the same status as a judge of the Supreme...

Report Predicts India’s Tea Exports Will Surge This Year

JORHAT, Assam, India With Kenya and Sri Lanka, the major exporters of bulk tea in the global market, witnessing an erratic cropping pattern, the export prospects for Indian tea appear bright, according to a recent report published by the ICRA, an Indian independent and professional investment information and credit rating agency. According to Tea...

Darjeeling Wrecked or Reborn?

The 105-day strike in the hills of Darjeeling dealt a body blow to the tea industry. Disenchanted workers, few of whom reported for work immediately following the end of the strike, will prolong recovery. DARJEELING, West Bengal, India Tea workers are gradually returning to their jobs in the Darjeeling hills following a national holiday,...

India’s Tea Board to Harness Social Media to Market Organic Tea

JORHAT, Assam, India The Tea Board of India will launch a social media campaign to promote specialty teas from the country in domestic and international markets, according to Tea Board chairman P.K. Bezbaruah, who spoke with World Tea News at a workshop for small tea growers at Tocklai Tea Research Institute recently. Marketing through...

Tocklai Research Institute Releases New Seed Variety

Jorhat Tocklai Tea Research Institute (TTIS) released a seed variety named TS560, which the scientists at the world’s oldest tea research station said is a gift to Darjeeling even as production of tea is likely to be lower by 15-30 percent next year in the hill district as tea estates remain shut due to...

Darjeeling Back in Business

DARJEELING, West Bengal, India Tea workers in Darjeeling will be awarded a 19.75 percent annual bonus estimated at $9.3 million with the assurance by labor representatives of a return to normalcy. But Darjeeling is not normal yet. Traffic restrictions remain and several shops are still closed. Security forces are forcing the shops and other business...