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Tea Board pushes for quality check of brew from Nepal

Amid concerns that CTC variety from Nepal was getting marketed as Darjeeling tea to shoppers, Tea Board has questioned the Commissioner of Customs, Kolkata (Land), to check out the high-quality of brew arriving from that nation at FSSAI-accredited laboratories.

In accordance to a Tea Board formal, brew from the neighbouring nation can not be banned as the treaty signed concerning the two nations has provisions for its import. Less than the treaty, India imports tea from Nepal at zero duty, the formal reported.

“As the plucking season in Darjeeling has arrived, we have questioned the Customs office to check out if the high-quality of tea from Nepal conforms to FSSAI parameters,” he explained to PTI on Tuesday.

Arun Kumar Ray, Deputy Chairman of Tea Board, reported the agency has sought assistance from a laboratory in Mumbai, which can differentiate concerning Darjeeling and Nepal teas.

“We have questioned the Customs authorities to discard tea coming from Nepal if it does not comply with the FSSAI norms,” Ray reported.

Although Darjeeling creates around 9 million kg of orthodox variety on a yearly basis, just about an equal sum of the brew is imported from Nepal below the treaty.

Secretary-common of the Indian Tea Affiliation (ITA) Arijit Raha reported that the complete volume of tea from Nepal should be comprehensively checked at the land customs points. “Any attempt to sell Nepalese CTC variety as Darjeeling should be thwarted,” he reported.

Earlier, Ray had reported traceability of Darjeeling tea was a trigger for issue, and the ITA has expressed doubts above the high-quality of tea getting marketed in the industry. He had also proposed that the complete volume of Darjeeling tea manufactured be marketed via auction to explore the true selling price and end unhealthy methods.

In 2019, around 8 million kg of Darjeeling tea was manufactured, of which 4 million kg was exported.