Coonoor, Oct 17
THE Tea Board plans to conduct raids to check adulteration and colouring of teas as part of its efforts to ensure quality of tea and higher returns to growers.
"These raids will be more on packet tea manufacturers and dealers outside the Nilgiris, for they have damaged the reputation of Nilgiri teas. We have done a lot of research to finalise the methodology for the raids, but I cannot give you more details now," said Mr R.D. Nazeem, Executive Director of Tea Board, in his chief guest's address at the 114th AGM of the Nilgiri Planters' Association (NPA). Since colouring is possible only when bad teas are manufactured, he advised the planters to refrain from sacrificing on quality.
Stating that he was already using the provisions of the Tea Marketing Control Order (TMCO) to eliminate bad teas from the market, Mr Nazeem said the burning of 2,500 kg of teas that had failed the norms of the Prevention of Food Adulteration Act (PFA) was a step in this direction.
Contending that such measures have brought in noticeable improvements in the approach of the industry, he said currently factories refuse to buy coarse leaves from growers.
Stating that the NPA logo has been registered under the Trade Marks Act, Mr T.G.B. Pinto, Chairman of the NPA, said members could start using this soon as long as they adhered to the standards of quality, permissible levels of pesticides, ethical assurance, and hygiene and safety.