The Tea Board of India issued an order to the all the tea manufacturing units of Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Tripura and Manipur to stop plucking of tea leaves from tea gardens so that the quantity of substandard teas can be reduced.
The order issued for the first time was based on a decision taken at the 237th board meeting on September 26 last.
The order said the last date for intimation/declaration to the Tea Board by all tea manufacturing units in the Northeast regarding closure of their manufacturing is December 12, reports The Telegraph.
If the order is found to be violated, then the Tea Board may take action under clause 5(1) of the Tea (Marketing) Control Order.
In Assam, tea fibres are used by many factories for remanufacturing tea and they even use colour and this type of tea is unsuitable for human consumption as tea fibre is a form of waste product.
Tea manufactured from tea fibres are of a black grainy colour and makes a packet of tea seem heavier thereby leading to the increase in price.
Bidyananda Barkakoty, adviser of North Eastern Tea Association, was quoted as saying, “Generally, we get three per cent of the annual crop in December and the period ends on December 15. Therefore, the impact on total crop will be not more than 1.5 per cent due to this order. We will, however, be able to avoid manufacturing of reprocessed teas, which is a significant quantity”.
He also said that the association will request the Tea Board for storage of tea in the factories beyond December 20 so that manufacturers don’t need to bear additional costs of transportation and warehouse storage costs.
He also said that Tea Board officials are welcome to verify stock at the factories based on the stock statement to be submitted on December 20 for CTC manufacturers and December 30 orthodox/green tea manufacturers.