New Delhi: Union Minister of Commerce and Industry, Consumer Affairs, Food, and Public Distribution and Textiles, Piyush Goyal today said that small tea growers will have the biggest role to play in shaping the future of tea sector in India.
He was addressing the Indian Tea Association’s (ITA) International Small Tea Grower’s Convention today.
The Minister appreciated the ITA for having played an instrumental role in the development of the tea industry, since its inception in 1881, 141 years ago. He also applauded the ITA and Solidaridad Asia for their efforts to strengthen the small tea growers for ensuring safe source of supply to the factories and to boost exports.
Shri Goyal noted that tea is an integral part of Indian heritage. He said that Chai is not just tea made in Indian style – it essentially is India in a teacup. “Chai is not just a beverage for Indians, it is an emotion, a symbol of unity and friendship. Serving tea has become a mark of respect and a crucial part of the Atithi Devo Bhava culture of India”, he added.
Shri Goyal noted that the Indian tea Industry is 2nd largest in world. He spoke of the Darjeeling Tea, also known as “Champagne of teas,” worldwide because of its flowery scent and Assam tea, a symbol of India’s global recognition.
The Minister stressed that tea sector had played a pivotal role in employment
generation in the country. “Not just the growers, producers and exporters, but also various startups and business models have emerged solely
based on tea”, he said.
Shri Goyal said that the government as an enabler has taken various steps to support our small tea growers, such as implementation of online licensing system, auto-renewal of 3 types of licenses i.e. exporter
license, tea waste license and tea warehouse license etc. He said that Darjeeling Tea was the 1st GI Tag product, now 2 other variants of it Green & White also hold GI Tags. Development of Chai Sahyog mobile app is another landmark of Indian tea ecosystem, he added.
The Minister noted that Indian tea growers are now spreading the aroma, taste and colour of India tea to the world. He said that the world has already tasted & appreciated the flavour of Sikkim, Nilgiris, Kangra & Assam teas and expressed hope that other varieties of tea would also open the world’s mind and palate to more flavors of India.