trustea partners with Tea Research Association and Action for Food Production to sustainably transform the Indian tea industry

World’s oldest & largest tea research institute along with a socio-technical development organization will actively work as implementation partners for the trustea Program across tea plantations, bought leaf factories and associated small tea growers in India

National, 10th September, 2019: trustea, the sustainability Code and Indian tea industry verification system for plantations, bought leaf factories (BLFs) and associated small tea growers (STGs), today announced that it has appointed Tea Research Association (TRA Tocklai) and Action for Food Production (AFPRO) as an implementation partner (IP). With 627 million kg tea verified (47% of total production) till August 2019, this partnership will provide a fillip to the adoption and implementation of the Code across tea plantations in India.

In its endeavor to sustainably transform the Indian tea industry, trustea will work with TRA Tocklai and AFPRO, to appoint a qualified trustea project manager who will oversee the Program, engage with entities in the tea sector for verification under the Code, provide knowledge and skill support to these entities and facilitate Program-level impact assessment activities with third party evaluators.

Announcing the partnership, Mr. Rajesh Bhuyan, Director, trustea, said, “We are proud and excited to watch the coming together of TRA, AFPRO and trustea. TRA Tocklai’s tea legacy with trustea’s vision for tea, and the possibilities that it holds for the tea industry in India. Their century long involvement in the industry and 55+ years of dedicated research with the Tea Board underscores their credibility to effectively implement the trustea Code in key tea growing regions in India. AFPRO has been an active partner in sustainable development initiatives and their focus areas; Food security and livelihoods, Watershed Management, Water and sanitation, Climate Change has good synergy with the trustea Program. An active trustea implementation Program means a successful, sustainable and organized tea community – for the sector and consumers.”

trustea will provide trainings to TRA Tocklai and AFPRO on the trustea Code, to ensure effective implementation of the Program. The trustea Code enables producers, buyers and others involved in Indian tea businesses to obtain tea that has been produced according to agreed, credible, transparent and measurable criteria.

Mr. Joydeep Phukan, Principal Officer and Secretary, Tea Research Association, said “TRA Tocklai has been looking after the sustainability of the Indian tea industry since 1911 and would like to ensure that the tea industry remains sustainable, economically robust and compliant with national and international standards.” 

Mr. D K Manavalan, Executive Director, AFPRO, said “The objective of the mission should be to adjust our activities to the changing paradigm to adapt ourselves to regime “Climate Change” and follow the best possible participatory approach by all partners for regulating a regime for the benefit of all”.

trustea certification validates that tea is produced in a sustainable manner under the three pillars – Environment, Safety and Livelihoods. With this verification, the consumers are assured that the tea they are consuming has been produced responsibly, and producers can credibly demonstrate their commitment to sustainability. Compliance with the trustea Code will help improve competitiveness and make it possible for them to adhere to national regulations and, in future, with international sustainability standards.

About trustea:

trustea is an Indian sustainability Code and verification system for the tea sector. The Code is working with smallholder tea growers, bought leaf factories, estates and to address some of the key sustainability challenges in the industry including working conditions, health and safety of tea workers, water pollution, food safety, soil erosion and contamination. Till date, the trustea Program has engaged with nearly 51463 small tea growers and certified over 622 estates and bought leaf factories. The Program is supported by prominent entities with a long-standing commitment to sustainability, including IDH, The Sustainable Trade Initiative, Hindustan Unilever Ltd, Tata Global Beverages and Wagh Bakri Tea Group.

About Tea Research Association:

Tea Research Association (TRA Tocklai ) with its research headquarter at Tocklai Tea Research Institute, Jorhat Assam is the oldest tea research organisation in the world. It was set up in 1911.  TRA Tocklai looks after the R&D needs of 75% of the Indian tea production. TRA Tocklai has contributed immensely for the development of the tea industry in North East India. The scientific contributions of the research institutes have helped increase tea production from an annual production of 119 million Kgs in 1910-11 to 1209 million Kgs in 2015. The yield per hectare increased from 524 Kgs per hectare in 1910-11 to 2131 Kgs per hectare in 2015. TRA Tocklai has invented tea manufacturing methods and machineries which have enhanced the quality of teas from Assam, Dooars and Darjeeling.  TRA Tocklai has released more than 201 planting material comprising of clones and seed stocks which cover majority of the tea plantations in North East India covering 9 states including Bihar.

TRA Tocklai has a total of 10 branches providing all aspects of R&D on tea, ranging from clone development, tea agronomy, soils, biotechnology, biochemistry, entomology, mycology, water management and extension / advisory services to the industry including small tea growers.

About Action for Food Production (AFPRO ):

AFPRO is a Not for Profit (NPO) established in 1966 as a secular Indian technical service organization and registered in 1967 under the Societies Registration Act XXI of 1860 for providing social and technical support for the upliftment of the weaker sections of society including the poor and the marginalized. The Aim of the Society is development of weaker sections of rural community and to move towards sustainable development through overall increase in their knowledge and skills, in the areas which directly affect their standard and quality of life.