Benzy Jose, president, Cochin Tea Buyers Association, has expressed concern over the flooding of market with ‘artificially coloured fake tea.'

At an annual general body meeting of the association here recently, Mr. Jose said that though the global production of tea had increased marginally last year, in comparison, domestic production had shown a decline. The e-auction and settlement banking systems have made the working of the tea auction centre in Kochi efficient. But the participants face several problems.

H said that rampant flooding of inferior and artificially coloured fake tea in the Kerala market through alternative channels from outside the State posed a great threat to the health drink. This affects genuine tea trade. These issues have been brought to the attention of the State government. He urged the administration to root out this practice.

High fuel prices and working capital expenses have left the tea trade industry in great difficulty. The inclusion of the commodity on the tax-exempted list in the proposed Goods and Services Tax regime is expected to bring some solace to the industry. He requested the Tea Board to take necessary steps to encourage producers to sell the maximum quantity of tea through the transparent auction channel. It is equally important not to resort to any steps that may lead to an increase in burden.

It is a fact that quality tea will get support and fetch good prices. If concerted efforts are made to enhance the quality, availability of premium tea can be ensured in the national and international markets, leading to better market realisation for producers, he added.

Keywords: Tea Cultivation

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