Poor monsoon to hit Amalgamated Plantation’s tea yield

September 3rd, 2009 - 8:15 pm ICT by IANS  

Kolkata, Sep 3 (IANS) Tea plantation firm Amalgamated Plantation, in which Tata Tea holds a 49.98 percent stake, is expecting a fall in production this fiscal due to poor monsoon, a top company official said here Thursday.
“Early rains are very important for tea plantation, which was very negligible this year. This will affect production,” said Amalgamated Plantation executive director Dipankar Borah.

While the company’s average annual production is 40 million kg, Borah told reporters it would fall to 39 million kg this year.

Amalgamated Plantation’s 20 gardens in Assam account for 35.5 million kg, while its four estates in the Dooars region in West Bengal produce 4.5 million kg tea leaves.

Borah said the company, which exports only a small portion of its produce, was banking on the ISO 22000 Accredited Food Safety certification that four of its orthodox tea estates in Assam have received to enter the European market.

“We will try to bring another six estates under the certification this year,” he said. “Once we have this ISO certification, we can export more. Europe will be one of the target markets.”

ISO 22000 is a standard developed by the International Organisation for Standardization dealing with food safety.

Alongside, the company is also eyeing the market of organic tea overseas, and has begun converting one of its larger estates in Assam to produce such teas.

“These green and organic teas will help us enter new markets and new geographies.”

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