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State regulates growth of bought leaf tea units
Published on 4 Jun. 2011 12:11 AM IST
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The Tarun Gogoi government has decided to regulate the mushrooming growth of bought leaf tea factories in a bid to maintain the quality of Assam Tea, a globally recognized brand.
According to Times of India, in case of fresh registration for setting up a bought leaf tea factory, the government has decided to go for thorough analysis and look into all pros and cons before giving nod to any such proposal.
Recently, government officials and representatives of various tea associations held a meeting and decided to formulate some strict regulations on the bought leaf tea factories. On Thursday, principal secretary (industries and commerce) Ravi Capoor said, “The government has put on hold fresh registrations of bought leaf tea factories.”
A tea factory, where source of green tea leaves is less than two-thirds from its own garden, is regarded a bought leaf factory. There are about 177 bought leaf factories with a total production capacity of about 261 million kg in the state. Bought leaf factories produce about 101 million kg of tea, mostly the CTC variety.
The government has categorically set its guidelines for regulating bought leaf factories. The annual availability of green leaf (tea) for each bought leaf factory should be around 25 lakh kg.
Further, the green leaf must reach a bought leaf factory within one hour after they are plucked. At present, bought leaves are plucked during day and are dropped in factories in evening. The new guidelines states that an area under 20km radius from the proposed BLF will be considered as a catchment area and expected quantity of leaf available in the area - both in the lean and peak season - have to be submitted to the government along with application seeking permission for setting up a processing unit.
The guideline also stipulated that bought leaf factories with installed capacity below five lakh kg per annum manufacturing only CTC variety will not be considered for the grant of Tea Marketing Control Order (TMCO) license. However, priority will be given to bought leaf factories producing certified organic and orthodox manufacturing units, green and white manufacturing units and other specialty tea. The stipulation will, however, be endorsed by the Tea Board for getting incorporated in the TMCO guidelines for registration.

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