The Tea Board of India has issued notices to three tea plants in Assam’s Golaghat district for producing substandard quality of green leaves.
In a surprise check conducted in the district’s various tea factories recently a large number of plants were found procuring poor quality green leaves rampantly in gross violation of the Tea Board’s guidelines.
In one factory, it was found that the authority was clearly turning a blind eye to the supply of such leaves.
“Golaghat was once famous for good quality tea but with factories accepting bad quality leaves, the issue became serious,” a Tea Board official said.
“It seems that the factory’s policy is merely on quantity and not quality which is harming the Tea Board’s endeavours to uplift the quality of products,” he added.
The notice said the factories were oblivious about the source of its green leaves.
The official further said, “Poor-quality green leaves finally lead to production of poor-quality teas which fetches less price. The tea industry has been expressing concern over slide in tea prices.”
“Small tea growers often complain about reduced prices of green leaves, especially during the peak season of production. The government undertook various initiatives to ensure that the poor quality tea is restricted from entering the market. The Tea Board has ensured closure of manufacturing units across the Northeast and other tea-growing areas during dormancy period of crop. The Tea Board has recently issued an order, restricting issuance of a no-objection certificate for new factory and capacity expansion of existing factories in designated blocks on the ground that such blocks are saturated in terms of green leaf availability,” the official said.
I another factory, it was found that the unit was carrying out capacity enhancement of their unit by installing additional machinery without obtaining a no-objection certificate from the Tea Board which amounts to gross violation of provision under Paragraph 3A of the Tea (Marketing) Control (Second Amendment) Order, 2015.
“Many tea manufacturing units are desperate to enhance their production capacity. The reason may be availability of buyers for low-priced teas and more profit for such manufacturers,” the official said.
In another tea factory of a big company it was found that the finished product accepted was very down-grade.
Few of the processing machineries were found to be poorly maintained and cleaning of drains and roofs carried out during processing hours.
Updated by: News Sources 2019-07-08 3:27 PM