“UNESCO has granted World Heritage Site Status (WHSS) to the Western Ghats effective from this month.
"The higher elevation is among the reasons for the same. Korakundah Estate in the Nilgiris at around 8,200 feet is India’s highest tea garden documented by Limca Book of Records and Elite World Record.
"The Tea Board is taking tea from this estate as also the nearby Chamraj for distribution at London Olympics. So, while welcoming the Board’s decision to supply quality teas from high-grown heritage belt, we are proud to be part of WHSS,” Chamraj Director, Mr D. Hegde, who is also President of The United Planters’ Association of Southern India (UPASI) told Business Line.
“Nilgiri tea is Western Ghat’s crown and WHSS is a new jewel to this crown. UNESCO’s declaration has come coinciding with Nilgiri tea industry’s participation in London Olympics.
"The Tea Board has shown respect to global consumers by offering to them through London Olympics the high-grown tea varieties from the heritage belt.
Nilgiri planters operate heritage estates and factories with ISO, HACCP and Rainforest Alliance certifications supporting WHSS,” said Bluegate Beverages Director, Mr G. Udayakumar, whose special Avataa tea gift hampers from 6,400 feet high Billimalai Estate will be distributed by the Tea Board at the Olympics.
“Our members cultivate tea in 6,720 hectares, mostly over 6,000 feet high and produce about 20 million kg of made tea annually, primarily orthodox,” said Mr Suresh Jacob, Chairman, Nilgiris Planters’ Association.