July 29, 2014
Tea Board of India is targeting to cover around 500 million kg or 51 percent of Indian tea production under its Trustea certification. So far, the program has certified about 4.3 million kilograms of tea produced across Assam and South India. The primary mandate of the Trustea code is to “evaluate the social, economic, agronomic and environmental performance of Indian tea estates, smallholders and Bought Leaf Factories (BLFs).
It is aimed at helping tea players achieve compliance with national and international standards in a step by step manner. This has been deemed to be critical for the long term sustainability of the Indian tea industry and ensuring that the needs and aspirations of consumers, packers, planters, and laborers are met. Launched in July last year, the code has been developed and supported by a multi-stakeholder round table called the trustea Advisory Committee (TAC).
The salient features of the system include ownership by the industry; extensive focus on food safety; due regard to good manufacturing practices by factories; low cost of compliance and inclusion of smallholders and small estates within its ambit. In the next three years, the program plans to cover more than 600 factories, including 500,000 workers and 40,000 smallholders, tea plantations across 300,000 hectares, and 500 million kg of tea, which will be around 51 percent of India’s tea production.