Five countries chosen for extensive and intensive promotional intervention

The United States has emerged as a major market for black tea and is now the third largest importer of tea. The present market size of U.S. is about 126 million kg of which 84.4 per cent is black tea.

The Commerce and Industry Ministry has chosen five countries — the U.S., Russia, Kazakhstan, Iran and Egypt — for extensive and intensive promotional intervention through five specific activities over five years. These five countries account for 42 per cent of the total tea exported from India. Indian tea exports average 200 million kg with the unit realisation averaging at about Rs.175.3 a kg, said Minister of State for Commerce and Industry D. Purandeswari in the Lok Sabha. India is the world’s second largest producer after China and second largest consumer of tea, accounting for nearly 25-27 per cent of world tea production. India accounts for around 10-12 per cent of world tea exports. Further, certain varieties of tea (for example, Darjeeling) are grown only in India and are in great demand across the world. However, India has been losing its share of the global tea exports in the face of the threat coming from newer competitors such as China, Sri Lanka and Kenya.

She said that a new online system had been introduced from June this year to enforce strict quality check of tea exported as well as tea imported for re-export. For this purpose, two advisory tea councils have been set up, one each for the South and North India to monitor and take appropriate corrective action against the exporters concerned whose tea have failed the quality checks. The Tea Board has also launched special promotional campaign in rural areas aimed at increasing tea consumption.