Our Bureau

Coimbatore, July 31

THE analysis report from United Planters' Association of Southern India Tea Research Foundation (UPASI TRI) has confirmed tea traders' apprehensions about price and quality, as nine out of the eleven tea samples sent for testing failed to conform to quality norms.

The Coonoor Tea Trade Association, which is in receipt of the analysis report, has sought the Tea Board's intervention for immediate action. According to details available here, UPASI TRI had sent in its test report on July 19 with the sample number and the name of the garden from where the samples had been drawn. This is not the first analysis in recent months. UPASI TRI had sent its findings on June 28 when three out of the ten samples failed to conform to the crude fibre content percentage.

Trade sources, while sharing this information with Business Line, said select factories continued with the supply of poor quality teas. "The first tea analysis report was received almost a month back. But no action has been initiated until now.

"This gives a wrong signal to the rest in the industry as costs are going up and the auction rates tend to slip to low levels for such grades. While falling rates trouble us on the one hand, we are more worried about such inferior teas flowing into the market," the sources said.

Low quality teas would tarnish the image of Nilgiris tea and growers were responsible for the supply of such teas, said Mr Jeya Thilaka Chellam, Proprietor, Ella Tea Industry and member of the Tea Adjudication Committee.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated August 1, 2005)
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