india

Wildlife Conservation in India’s Tea Gardens

One of the world’s largest animals, the majestic elephant holds a dear place in most people’s hearts. However, a stressed elephant can kill a human with one strike of its trunk, a fact known only too well by India’s tea plantation workers, where conflict between humans and elephants is rife. Although elephants are still...

Bidders Are Setting New Records at Tea Auctions This Spring

JORHAT, Assam Halmari tea estate in India’s Assam set a world record price of $10.50 (INRs700) per kilogram for crush, tear, curl (CTC) at the Calcutta auction last month. The tea was purchased by Kolkata-based J. Thomas & Co., and Mahabod Tea House in Kolkata purchased 307 kilograms. The tea is expected to sell...

First Tea Company in India to Be Auctioned for Debt

JORHAT, Assam The Assam Company, the world’s first tea company and perhaps the most prized tea company (in terms of its assets), is going under the hammer. The company owes around INRs 1,800 crore (US $270 million), including penal interest, to its financial creditors, or lenders. The Guwahati Assam bench of the National Company...

India Tea Board Helps Finance Small Tea Factories

The Tea Board of India, noting the fact that some 60 percent of tea there is produced by smallholders, is offering to subsidize construction. The factories cost about INRs2.5 million ($38,000) and can process about 500 kilos of tea per day (25,000 kilos of fresh leaf). The Tea Board will subsidize 40 percent of...

Flat Prices Provoke Critics of India’s Tea Auctions

Darjeeling cut-tea-curl (CTC) is again filling auction warehouses and last week a green tea set an all-time high price at the Coonoor auction in South India, but all is not well with India’s auctions. India’s largest tea producers are chafing under a rule that 50 percent of the nation’s manufactured tea must be publicly...

Assam Tea Workers Consider Strike for Higher Minimum Wage

DIBRUGARH, Assam Frustrated tea workers are considering a walkout that could seriously impact production in the Brahmaputra Valley, the world’s largest tea-producing region. Members of the Assam Chah Mazdoor Sangha (ACMS) labor union staged demonstrations last week in several locations in pursuit of a wage hike. A one-day work stoppage drew attention to their...

India’s Tea Exports Increase, Output Drops

JORHAT, Assam Quality played a key role in India’s tea exports, which saw a jump of nearly 7 percent during the April–January period of 2017–18 over the corresponding period in the previous year. Last year, the country’s tea exports had touched a 36-year high of 240.7 million kilograms. The previous record was in 1981...

Darjeeling: A Fortunate Reversal

Darjeeling growers are anticipating the most lucrative first flush in decades. Tea estates average 35 percent of their annual gross and some earn nearly 70 percent of their revenue during the first flush. This year looks like it will be one of the best harvests in years. Volumes are small but rates per kilo...

Thanks to Smallholders, India Tea Exports Rebound to Record Levels

Outstanding yields in South India offset declines in Darjeeling as tea production reached a record 1,279 million kilograms in 2017, up about 1 percent from 1,267 million kilograms harvested in 2016. Exports topped 240.7 million kilograms during calendar 2017, a level not seen since 1981, according to the Tea Board of India. Exports were...

Quality Winter Tea Emerges After Darjeeling Crisis

DARJEELING, West Bengal Makaibari tea estate reported the first signs that the teas of this famed region benefited from last summer’s unprecedented three-month rest. The first 10 kilos of organic and sustainably produced teas from 50 kilos of leaves plucked in late December revealed a “very good” tea according to Rudra Chatterjee, director at...