Tea trade, industry close ranks to take on Greenpeace report

The Tea Board too joins issue, questions the report

August 18, 2014 11:16 pm | Updated November 16, 2021 05:42 pm IST - KOLKATA:

Hindustan Unilever and Tata GlobalBeverages say they have put in placeseveral initiatives towards a sustainableeco-friendly tea industry.

Hindustan Unilever and Tata GlobalBeverages say they have put in placeseveral initiatives towards a sustainableeco-friendly tea industry.

The recent report by Greenpeace on pesticide residue in tea has brought together the trade and the industry, including arch-rivals in the market place such as Hindustan Unilever and Tata Global Beverages who are saying that they had put in place several initiatives towards a sustainable eco-friendly tea industry.

The Tea Board has flayed the Greenpeace report.

Hindustan Unilever has announced that it will be initiating a scientific research study by CABI to evaluate the environmental and economic feasibility of applying biological or non-pesticide methods for plant protection of Indian tea crops.

CABI is an inter-governmental, not-for-profit organisation focussed on improving people’s lives by applying scientific expertise to solve problems in agriculture and the environment. CABI will review existing crop protection practices in India. It will design protocols for pesticide-free management of the tea eco system, in co-operation with the Tea Board of India and the tea research institutes.

Simultaneously, three Tata companies have announced an initiative — Sustainable Plant Protection Formulation (SPPF) Project — to develop and use ecological solutions for plant protection in tea. This is an initiative of Tata Chemicals, Tata Global Beverages and Rallis.

HUL (with brands like Lipton) and TGB (owning Tata and Tetley brands) are two biggest `packeteers’. The report has also drawn response from the Ahmedabad-based Gujarat Tea Processors and Packers (GTPPL) (owning the Wagh Bakhri brand).

It said that in 2012, GTPPL established in-house laboratory for chemical testing of tea as per standards ISO/ IEC 17025:2005 for sustainable, responsible sourcing and partnering.

The apex industry association, the Consultative Committee of Plantation Association, as well as Tea Board have flayed the report saying that Indian tea is subjected to some of the most stringent standards globally.

The Tea Board said that it had invited Greenpeace to demonstrate where there could be effective use of non-synthetic PPFs, and it was open to collaborating with all stakeholders to help make tea production in India more sustainable in the long-run. “It was in this vein that Tea Board organised a seminar for Greenpeace to interact with the small tea growers in the tea sector in June 2014.”

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