Gujarat team assures planters of rise in trade
Guwahati, April 26: Tea traders from Gujarat got a taste of Assam tea on their maiden visit to the state.
Impressed by the tea industry, the 35-member delegation assured its counterparts in Assam that Gujarat would buy 15 to 20 per cent more tea from them.
The tea traders, under the aegis of the Ahmedabad Tea Merchants Association, arrived in the state on April 20.
They had a first hand look at tea gardens, factories, bought leaf factories and the Guwahati Tea Auction Centre during their six-day visit. The traders will leave for Gujarat tomorrow.
“We were very impressed by the positive interactions and there will be some increase in tea trade. It could be 15 to 20 per cent,” H.P. Agarwal, president of Ahmedabad Tea Merchants Association, told The Telegraph.
Gujarat buys 70 million kg of tea from Assam and is one of the largest domestic markets for the state.
Agarwal said the visit helped them understand the mechanics of tea production, which they had never seen.
“So far we had a little knowledge about different flavours of tea and its aroma, which are its important characteristics, but now we have actually seen the tea making process. Now we have a better idea about it,” he said.
The team included packeteers, retailers, wholesalers, brokers and buyers.
“We will give more preference to tea bought from the auction centre,” he said.
Sources said the myth that tea made from bought tea leafs was not good in quality and those produced in big gardens were better, was also cleared during the visit.
Impressed by the interaction with the tea traders, Agarwal said more such visits would be organised in the future.
“There is great likelihood of buying more Assam tea than others like Dooars and south Indian tea after the visit,” Agarwal said.
The interesting fact is that the per capita consumption of tea in Gujarat is 1kg 36gram per head, much more than that of Assam, which is around 700gram per head.
Tea is a big favourite in Gujarat. A Gujarati family takes great pride in serving a good cup of tea to its guests.
According to the Guwahati Tea Auction Buyers’ Association, nearly 60 per cent of good quality tea sold at the Guwahati Tea Auction Centre goes to Gujarat.
The tea traders had interacted with members of the North Eastern Tea Association at Golaghat and visited tea gardens in Karbi Anglong also.
“The interaction was lively and one of the best,” Bidyananda Barkakoty, chairman of North Eastern Tea Association, said.
There were discussions on packaging and pricing also. The delegation emphasised on maintaining quality consistency.