Tea Board pushes for quality check of brew from Nepal

Amid worries that CTC wide variety from Nepal was becoming marketed as Darjeeling tea to

Amid worries that CTC wide variety from Nepal was becoming marketed as Darjeeling tea to buyers, Tea Board has asked the Commissioner of Customs, Kolkata (Land), to examine the good quality of brew arriving from that nation at FSSAI-accredited laboratories.

According to a Tea Board formal, brew from the neighbouring nation can’t be banned as the treaty signed among the two nations around the world has provisions for its import. Under the treaty, India imports tea from Nepal at zero duty, the formal reported.

“As the plucking season in Darjeeling has arrived, we have asked the Customs department to examine if the good quality of tea from Nepal conforms to FSSAI parameters,” he informed PTI on Tuesday.

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

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

Though Darjeeling generates around nine million kg of orthodox wide variety per year, practically an equivalent quantity of the brew is imported from Nepal beneath the treaty.

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

Earlier, Ray had reported traceability of Darjeeling tea was a cause for issue, and the ITA has expressed doubts over the good quality of tea becoming marketed in the industry. He had also recommended that the overall volume of Darjeeling tea developed be marketed by means of auction to uncover the genuine value and halt unhealthy methods.

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