Black tea certification to aid exports and higher realisation

New Delhi, Apr 27 | Updated: Apr 28 2007, 08:08am hrs
The quality certification mark by the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) on black tea can boost the export potential of the commodity. The quality certification can boost prospects of domestic trade, particularly at times of falling prices. BIS has granted first such licence for black tea in the country.

Kanan Devan Hill Produce Company Pvt Ltd, Munnar in Kerala, a prominent producer in the country has been granted the BIS certification licence to use the popular ISI Mark on its products.BIS certification is recognised globally. Consumers have confidence in BIS certification. It has the potential for boosting trade of any ISI-marked commodity. We have begun the process on black tea and are willing to certify more tea companies which are willing to adhere to the norms, said BIS director general, Alka Sirohi.

The licence to Kanan Devan Hill has been granted in accordance with the Indian Standard IS 3633:2003 (specification for black tea). This standard which specifies the quality requirements of black tea, interalia includes tea testing, chemical requirements, limits on pesticide residues and heavy metals.

It has been the effort of BIS over the years to bring in products used by the common consumer under its certification so that the consumer is able to select quality products and ensure value for money.

The certification of black tea is another effort towards this objective, said Sirohi.

According to the price stabilisation fund trust (PSFT) under the Union commerce ministry tea growers need support as the domestic price situation of the commodity in 2006 was not very remunerative.

The PSFT has announced the price spectrum band for the year 2006 for rubber, coffee and tea. The price spectrum band for each commodity has been calculated on the basis of seven years moving average of international price for the commodity.

The annual average domestic price for tea was Rs 63.62 per kg during 2006 and it has been categorised as a normal year for tea. On the basis of price spectrum band 2006, 14928 tea growers would receive financial assistance of Rs 74.64 lakh from the PSFT during 2007-08.