Newly-appointed chairman of the Indian Tea Association (ITA) A.N. Singh, who is also the managing director of Goodricke Tea Ltd., said that boosting stagnating production and finding new export markets for Indian tea were two of his priority areas.

Mr. Singh, who took over the reins of the ITA from C.S. Bedi, said: “Taking production to the one billion kg mark is a priority area given the stagnation that it faces.” He, however, cautioned against overproduction, saying that uprooting and replanting were two areas which needed attention in order to achieve quality improvement.

It may be mentioned here that tea industry is bracing itself for a substantial crop loss this year on account of weather setbacks.

Admitting that exports were not doing well, he said that entering new markets would also be a priority action area. “U.S. is a market that we want the industry to penetrate increasingly by using the plank of tea as a wellness-beverage. At ITA, we are keen to restore to Indian tea the place it deserves on the world map.”

He said that the industry had already made a big shift towards quality, which would remain a focus area. As chairman of ITA, Mr. Singh would concurrently hold charge of the Chairman of the Consultative Committee of the Plantation Associations (CCPA).

Ashoke Kumar Bhargava of the Apeejay Group would be the Vice-Chairman of the ITA, and Azam Monem of Mcleod Russel the Additional Vice-Chairman.