Tea Board of India has suspended the registration certificate of two large Tea estate factories and served necessary advisory notices to up to 98 other such factories throughout South India.
According to M Balaji, the Tea Board Executive Director, ‘this arose as a result of the Board’s South Zonal Office inspecting the operation of these factories.
‘We have been implementing regulatory measures to ensure the quality of the tea that is manufactured. We have also been closely monitoring the auctioneers’ sample checking and the quantity offered on the auction platform, in addition to the various statutory returns filed by stakeholders, including buyers.
Significant efforts have been made to limit adulteration and the excessive use of tea waste in the final products,’ he said.
‘Over 140 notices have been served to bought-leaf factories which are small-scale units and 30 notices to tea waste processing factories. So far, a total of 46 licences have been suspended, he mentioned.
‘As part of this initiative, we inspected estate factories throughout the southern region. Based on our inspection reports, we have issued show-cause notices to 100 factories for violating various tea business guidelines, including a lack of quality leaf procurement, average/poor hygiene standards, non-production of sales records, holding of tea waste above the permissible limit, procurement of bought leaf above the permissible limit; purchase of teas from other factories, and non-compliance with price sharing,’ he said.
‘Of the above, appropriate advisory notices had been issued to 98 estate factories based on the gravity of the deviations and after providing an opportunity to be heard,’ he stated.
‘The registration certificates of two large estate factories in the Valparai estate region have been suspended due to abnormal usage of re-conditioned teas in their production process without green leaf, non-submission of records such as the sale of teas to the unregistered buyer and factories, as well as procure and pile up the huge inventory of unauthorized tea stocks in the factory,’ Balaji added.
These deviations are considered violations of the Tea (Marketing) Control Order 2003’s applicable provision.