Tea Board Weighs Auditor Concerns: Additional Resources Needed to Market Tea
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Tea News for the week ending Aug 25
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Tea is intricately woven into India’s cultural tapestry. In its latest marketing campaign, Tata Tea Premium acknowledges and elevates several of the Indian state’s distinctive patterns in fabric and symbols of pride, drawing attention to the tea company’s extensive range of hyperlocal blends. Tata tells the story of extraordinary weavers by digitally enhancing their homespun artistry in an interactive tribute to handlooms. Aravinda Anantharaman reports on this eye-catching effort.
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Limited Resources Restrain Marketing Efforts by Tea Board
By Dan Bolton
A Parliamentary committee is reviewing concerns raised in a report by India’s auditor general that identified lapses in enforcing tea industry regulations by the Tea Board of India.
The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) audit, titled “The Role of Tea Board India in the Development of Tea in India,” reviewed board activities during a five-year period ending in fiscal 2022.
Auditors drew attention to these concerns:·
- The board’s inability to curb smuggled tea and tea untraceable to origin used for blending for sale in domestic markets.·
- The lack of a “well-defined strategy” to register growers (large and small). In March 2021, 38% of small growers were unregistered.·
- Failure to monitor tea processing facilities by conducting timely inspections and laboratory testing.·
- Lack of a database to track yield per hectare, labor productivity, new plantings, aging tree stock, and distribution of cultivars.
- In addition, a mandate to auction 50% of the country’s tea was not enforced. Auditors found that most registered buyers did not purchase tea at auction.