Facing an oversupply situation in the domestic market, Indian Tea Association (ITA) is planing to launch a promotional campaign in schools in an attempt to get children to embrace the brew with an objective to boost domestic tea consumption. Annually, there is an oversupply of around 100-120 million kg of tea in India, said Azam Monem, chairman of ITA, the country’s oldest organisation of tea producers. “We want to start promoting tea with children. In fact, we are taking a full circle. We have done it with youths, colleges, and now want do it through schools. In India, we found a population of 350 millions, who do not drink tea and they are all children,” Monem told a press conference here on Tuesday.
He, however, said the tea industry would not be able to afford a pan-India promotional campaign unless Tea Board comes in. “We asked for a full research and presentation from two advertising agencies and a strategy is being worked out. The industry will fund the promotion and we will approach the Tea Board. The campaign has to be fit in with school calendar,” Monem said.
According to him, the industry has been going through a patch where there is abundance of production along with escalating costs. “In the last five years, prices have been virtually flat. All India average tea auction price was at Rs 132.23 per kg in 2013, while the same was at Rs 133.11 a kg in the last year. This is due to oversupply situation,” he said.
In order to deal with the oversupply situation, ITA has urged the government to carry out massive generic promotion campaign in order to increase domestic consumption and increase exports subsidy so that tea planters can produce more exportable teas. Tea Board’s recent study has revealed that domestic tea consumption stood at 786 gms per person annually, but that consumption level hardly helped the industry, Monem added.