There has been a steady rise in demand among tea estates, small tea growers and bought leaf factories to go in for trustea certification to validate that the tea produced by them is done in a sustainable manner.
According to Rajesh Bhuyan, Director, trustea, close to 627 million kg (mkg) of tea produced in the country has been verified since the inception of the programme in 2014. This accounts for nearly 48 per cent of the country’s total production, which stands roughly at around 1,300 mkg. In 2017, trustea verified close to 509 mkg of tea.
Till date, the trusteaprogramme has engaged 51,463 small-time tea growers and certified 622 estates, and bought-leaf factories across the country, he said.
The trustea sustainability code aims to address some of the key challenges in the industry, including working conditions, health and safety of tea workers, clean water, food safety, soil erosion and contamination among others. The code enables producers, buyers and others involved in Indian tea business to obtain tea that has been produced according to agreed, credible, transparent and measurable criteria.
“There is growing acceptance for thetrusteacode among estates, small-time tea growers and bought leaf factories. It helps them get better market access,” Bhuyan said on Tuesday.
trustea has joined hands with Tea Research Association (TRA) and Action for Food Production (AFPRO) as an implementation partner for its sustainability code programme. “The demand has been so high and we have been finding it difficult to meet the demand. TRA and AFPRO will help ensure effective implementation of the programme,” he said.
The trusteaprogramme is jointly supported by IDH, The Sustainable Trade Initiative, Hindustan Unilever, Tata Global Beverages and Wagh Bakri Tea Group.
“We will like to ensure that the tea industry remains sustainable, economically robust and compliant with national and international standards,” said JoydeepPhukan, Principal Officer and Secretary of TRA.