A joint communiqué has been signed between the Tea Board of India and the European Tea Committee (ETC), supporting the Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) registration granted to Darjeeling tea within the European Union (EU). It also involves evolving a joint working relationship to implement the PGI registration for Darjeeling in letter and spirit.

The Tea Board was represented by M. G. V. K. Bhanu, Chairman, while the Hamburg-based European Tea Committee was represented by William Gorman, President.

The ETC and the Tea Board have agreed that they would co-operate and work together in disseminating information about the PGI registration and its implications in the local language in Germany and other tea-consuming countries within the EU.

ETC is the Central European Federation of national associations involved in tea. Its activities focus on quality control and food laws mainly.

Darjeeling tea from India received the PGI protection in October 2011. It is said that more ‘Darjeeling’ tea is sold in the international markets than is produced in Darjeeling as very often only a small portion of the authentic product is put in a packet of tea-blends from other regions. Following the registration, the teas sold in EU would have to be 100 per cent Darjeeling tea.

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