Assam planters want tea to be national drink

Coonoor, Sept. 26 :  The North Eastern Tea Association Assam, has sought the support of South Indian Planting and Traders’ Associations to pressurise the Centre to declare tea as a national drink.

“Although ministers had shown interest, this issue is pending for over a year now. We have submitted a detailed memorandum to the Union and Assam Governments. We are mobilising the support of various planters’ and traders’ bodies,” the association Chairman Bidyananda Barkakoty told Business Line.

He was leading a delegation of Assam planters to the Golden Jubilee convention of Coonoor Tea Trade Association.

“We visited tea estates and factories in the Nilgiris and tasted the teas coming up for this week’s auction.

“We are highly impressed at the quality improvements made here. We will suggest some measures followed by Coonoor for implementation at Guwahati auctions,” he said.

“We have represented to the Tea Board that when it is asking bought-leaf factories to have price-sharing formula with growers, it should ask packeters to share their price with factory owners,” he said.