Tea leaves have even changed politics: Wanchoo

Governor B V Wanchoo called on the tea industry to promote scientific research in this field to boost productivity and bring about improved qualities of tea in the country and the world.

The governor was speaking after inaugurating the three-day India International Tea Convention – 2012 (IITC) at the Lalit hotel at Canacona on Wednesday. IITC 2012 is being organized by the consultative committee of plantation associations (CCPA)- the apex body of tea producer associations in India- with the support of the tea board of India.

It is a matter of great satisfaction that tea leaves have drastically changed culture, economics, trade and, if I am not wrong, even politics, he said.

Speaking further Wanchoo said that "though the Indian tea industry is over 160 years old, it is vibrant and growing," India is the largest consumer of tea in the world, the second largest producer and fourth largest exporter of tea, there is therefore, no doubt that this important industry play a critical role in our National development hence needs to be protected and promoted in a suitable manner.

M G Bhanu chairman of tea board of India, said that the IITC will take up issues relating to production and marketing of tea, branding initiatives and the new avenues available to tea producers that include sale through supermarkets.

C S Bedi, chairman of CCPA said the conference has participation of delegates from other tea producing nations that include Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Kenya and Tanzania as well as non-tea producing countries such as the US, Canada, Germany, Austria, Spain, Russia, Kazakhstan, the UAE, Iran, Egypt and Tanzania among others and around 400 delegates attend the conference.

It will provide an opportunity to exchange ideas and draw up direction for the future for all stakeholders associated with tea like growers, manufacturers, brokers, auctioneers,packers, exporters and importers apart from tea machinery and equipment manufacturers, tea organisations among others Bedi said.

"The Indian tea is largely consumed in the domestic market and just about 15% is exported. Through this conference, we are looking at expanding the overseas market for Indian tea. We will discuss issues like value addition, branding, packaging and chart out direction for the Indian tea industry for the next decade," said G J Ancherill, president of UPASI. [TOI]