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Tuesday, Oct 05, 2004

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Move to register Nilgiris tea under Trade Marks Act

L.N. Revathy

Coonoor , Oct. 4

THE Tea Board and planters are in the process of getting the Nilgiris tea logo registered under the Geographical Indications (Registration and Protection) Act and the Trade Marks Act.

The move to register the logo comes in the wake of a majority of estates switching over to orthodox tea production apart from the unique characteristics and delicate fragrance typical of the high grown teas from this belt.

According to the Chairman of the Nilgiris Planters' Association (NPA), Mr T.G.B. Pinto, the exclusive stamp of quality unique to the teas produced by NPA members did not get the necessary protection and identity from the Nilgiri tea logo promoted by the Tea Board.

The association, therefore, decided to have the NPA logo registered under the Trade Marks Act, he said and added that the regulations governing the usage of the NPA logo and procedures for sanction of permission for usage of this logo on all types of Nilgiri teas were already in place.

"The difficult phase will be the establishment of the logo as the definitive symbol of Nilgiri teas," he said.

Meanwhile, the industry, in view of the rising export volume, is seeking the authorities intervention for notifying Nilgiris as a special economic zone (SEZ). "We find similarly placed industries brought under the SEZ. Nilgiri Tea has a strong case for claiming the status of SEZ. Declaration of Nilgiris as a SEZ will give the much-needed fillip to the tea industry to compete effectively in the global market," Mr Pinto said.

According to him, the area held tremendous potential for marketing of speciality orthodox teas.

The association has sought the Tea Board's help for holding a speciality tea buyers/sellers meet. "A meeting has been planned at Kochi during January 2005. We have proposed for a special auction for speciality teas. This is expected to be discussed at this meet," Mr Pinto said.

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