Sun, 04 Dec 2022

Nepali tea growers relax as India lifts ban on blending

Khalid Umar Malik
18 Nov 2022, 14:22 GMT+10

NEW DELHI, India - India lifted an 11-month-old ban on blending Darjeeling tea with other teas on Tuesday, raising the spirits of Nepal's tea industry, which relies heavily on exports to its southern neighbor.

Nepal's Rs5 billion tea industry was severely harmed as shipments plummeted after India imposed the ban in November to protect its domestic industry.

Indian tea producers can now mix Nepali tea with their products, but they cannot call it "Darjeeling."

According to reports, this Geographical Indication label is a symbol given to items associated with a specific place or origin. It cannot be applied to tea not grown in their gardens.

According to the Indian press, the Tea Board of India said it would take stern action if any Indian seller were found using the Geographical Indication label for mixed teas.

According to media reports, the Indian directive to restrict foreign teas proved counterproductive, as domestic buyers such as Tata Consumers Products Ltd largely stayed away from auctions to procure Darjeeling tea, which is blended in their popular Tata Gold pack.

According to estimates, Tata purchases approximately 1 million kgs, accounting for about 15% of Darjeeling's annual production.

Following reports of India's potential ban on Nepali tea, Nepali manufacturers and traders were highly concerned as India is the product's largest buyer.

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