Chungthung Tea Estate to Reopen with a Managing Committee

The district administration has decided to take a firm stand in ending the impasse at the Chungthung tea garden.

The decision to convene a meeting — minus the management of East India Produce — at Bijanbari on March 1 is indicative of the administration’s determination to take a stern step to break the deadlock. “The meeting will be held between the labourers and the administration to look into the demands of the workers,” said J. Chattopadhaya, subdivisional officer, Darjeeling.

Earlier, representatives of the Chungthung management had attended only one of the four reconciliatory meetings that were held following the closure of the garden on January 13.

The suicide committed on Saturday by Baburam Dewan, a social activist, to press for strong action against Ajit Agarawal, the proprietor of the Chungthung tea estate, also seems to have unnerved the district administration. Sources maintain that the administration has decided to re-open the garden immediately through a managing committee, comprising the workers and government officials.

“The present scenario is such that we don’t believe in the proprietor coming back to re-open the garden. At the same time, we cannot let things go on as they are and this is the reason why the administration is keen about finding a solution,” said an administrative source. Representatives of Joint Action Committee of Chungthung — an umbrella organisation of all operative trade unions in the garden — also met the district administration today and demanded that a managing committee be formed at the earliest to sell the tea leaves of the garden.

“We have also demanded that Ajit Agarawal be arrested and the government initiate steps to cancel the lease of the garden,” said L.M. Lama, the pradhan of Chungthung gram panchayat and adviser to the joint action committee.

But after the estate’s closure, the DGHC has been providing work to at least one family member of the garden’s workers under the Gram Swarak Yojna. “The district administration too has been distributing foodgrain,” said Sonam Bhutia, BDO, Bijanbari.

Aariz Aftab, the Darjeeling district magistrate, said the administration was trying to mobilise funds to ensure that workers are not inconvenienced till the garden re-opens. The estate employs 1,252 workers while the total garden population is pegged at around 6,500.

Source > The Telegraph

Darjeeling shut down after tea garden worker commits suicide

A day's strike was observed in the Darjeeling hills yesterday following the suicide committed by one of the tea garden workers in Chongtong Tea Estate. Baluram Dewan (62, belonging to the Nepalese community) was found hanging from the tea shed with a suicidal note. The note had blamed the tea garden owner, Mr. Ajit Agrawal for abandoning the tea garden and bring misfortunes to the poor tea garden workers. It has become a trend for the tea garden owners to abandon tea gardens without proper and legitimate papers if they face some difficulty dealing in managing the tea workers. Most of the tea workers frown for their low paid wages while the owners are generating huge revenues. None of the tea garden owners are from the Darjeeling hills and are controlled from Calcutta (Kolkata), some 700 km away from Darjeeling. They rarely visit the tea gardens and the whole management is handed over to the manager's shoulder. Its really sad that such a sad and biased management trend is reveberating in the Darjeeling tea gardens.

Leaving aside the Goodricke Group Ltd., Jayshree and some authentic companies, most of the tea gardens are owned by a single individual who are just there to make profits and does not believe in the welfare of the tea garden workers.

Tea Garden Owners avoid executive magistrates

Owners of closed tea estates here — showcaused by the administration for keeping their gardens shut for months — today failed to appear before the executive magistrates of their respective areas.

The management of the Kanthalguri, Ramjhora, Raipur, Chamurchi, Samsing and Bamandanga-Tondu, have, however, sent replies to the notices.

A. Subbiah, the district magistrate of Jalpaiguri, had said last week that the owners must appear before the executive magistrates of the subdivisions where their estates are located by January 12 and clarify why the gardens have remained shut for so long.

Instead of giving a concrete reason for keeping the estates closed, the owners started sending in their excuses, an official said. “The management of Raipur tea estate wrote to us stating that they have handed over the garden to a new director, but did not give his address. We are now looking for his address to send the notice to him,” said P.D. Pradhan, the Jalpaiguri subdivisional officer. “The Kanthalguri management said a new company was supposed to take over the estate after its lease was cancelled, but the deal is yet to be finalised.” The Chamurchi garden, too, is yet to find a new owner, he added.

The owners of the Samsing and the Bamandanga-Tondu estates have taken a legal step after Alokesh Prasad Roy, the Malbazar SDO, served them the notice. They obtained a stay order against the administrative proceedings from the district court, a source said. “Lawyers representing the management of these estates have told me that they have obtained stay order against the proceedings,” Roy said.

With none of the owners appearing before the executive magistrates, the administrative officials have declared the legal process pending. “Another showcause notice will be served on them. If they fail to turn up even on the second date, non-bailable warrants may be issued against them,” an official said.

Source > The Telegraph

Chongtong Tea Estate worker commits suicide

A retired garden worker committed suicide in the wee hours today at this closed tea estate, accusing the garden owner, in the suicide note, for his death.

Baburam Dewan (62) was found hanging from the tea shed early this morning, the suicide note clipped to his coat. Workers did not allow the body to be removed until Press reporters from Darjeeling, around 25 km from here, reached the spot around 11 a.m. Angry workers shouted slogans against the “owner”, Mr Ajit Agrawal (Most of the tea garden owners are based in Kolkata - about 700 km away from Darjeeling).

The district administration, which had allegedly failed to bring the former to reconciliation meetings, was also the target of workers’ ire. Relief distribution in form of two kilogram of rice and Rs 50 per family each day was started three days ago by the authorities at the garden. The management had to virtually abandon the garden when the workers refused to accept a reduction in wages last month. Demanding the “immediate arrest” of the owner, trade unions and Opposition political parties have called for a bandh in the Hills tomorrow. Dewan in his suicide note also “warned” that if the administration failed to take any action some more of his friends would be “ready to follow his example”. The possibility of more suicides caused police to scamper about the garden today to find others who may have entered into a suspected suicide pact. While the district magistrate Mr Aariz Aftab said he had taken up the demand for the owner’s arrest with police, Mr Agrawal said he had already resigned from the directorship of the East India Produce Pvt Ltd a month back. “I have nothing to do with the tea garden anymore.”

Source > The Statesman

Revision of Wage for Tea Garden Grade III staff

An agreement has been reached regarding the basic salary of the sub-staff of the tea industry, but a decision regarding the wages of garden staff is yet to be taken.

The final deal was struck in Calcutta yesterday after 11 rounds of meeting between the trade unions and the management.

According to the agreement, the Grade III Other Monthly Rated Workers (sub-staff) will now receive a basic salary of Rs 1,150 per month. They will be entitled to an annual increment of Rs 17 over their basic salary until the amount reaches 1,320 following which they will get an annual increment of Rs 21 till their basic salary reaches Rs 1,530.

The starting basic salary of this group was previously fixed at Rs 930.

For Grade II sub-staff, the basic salary will start at Rs 1,190 with an annul increment of Rs 18 until the basic salary reaches Rs 1,370. Afterwards, the workers will receive an annual increment of Rs 22 till the basic salary touches Rs 1,590.

The previous starting salary of the Grade II employees was Rs 960.

The Grade I sub-staff will get a basic salary of Rs 1,220 over which they will get an annual increment of Rs 19 until the amount reaches Rs 1,410. The annual increment after that will be Rs 25 till the basic salary reaches Rs 1,660.

The wages of the sub-staff also includes dearness allowance, which will be 50 per cent of their basic salary. “They will also get a variable dearness allowance at the rate of 8 per cent with effect from April 1, 2006 and at 16 percent from April 1, 2007,” said Kumai.

The revised salary will come into effect from April 1, 2005. “The industry principals have agreed to clear the arrears by June end this year,” said Sandeep Mukherjee, secretary, Darjeeling Tea Association. This means that the sub-staff will also receive the revised salary for February 2006.

It was learnt that another meeting will be held in March to arrive at a negotiable wage revision for the staff. The meeting is expected to take place in Siliguri.

Source > The Telegraph

New Chumta Tea Estate To Reopen

A month and 24 days after its management declared a lockout, the New Chumta Tea Estate on the outskirts of Siliguri is likely to reopen tomorrow.

The reopening proposal was finalised today following bipartite and tripartite agreements struck in the presence of the state Urban development minister Mr Asok Bhattacharya, senior CITU, INTUC and HMS leaders, the plantation’s management and the deputy labour commissioner.
If New Chumta reopens tomorrow according to the agreement, the state government will have succeeded in reopening both the closed tea estates in the Terai. The other locked out plantation Phargoomiah, reopened last week.

Incidentally, New Chumta closed down on 29 December. Chief minister Mr Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee, who was visiting Siliguri the next day had publicly stated that he would arrange for the plantation’s management to hold a meeting in Kolkata and ensure the plantation’s reopening.

Although matters did not progress the way the chief minister had stated, it could be more than coincidental that the reopening agreement came today at a time when the chief minister is once again on a visit to Siliguri.

The New Chumta’s closure and reopening can be singled out as more than a case of settled industrial dispute. The plantation being in the middle of the urban development minister’s home constituency Siliguri, occupies a special spot, which may have prompted the Siliguri mahakuma parishad to implement a relief scheme for the workers during the closure period.

The move had provided the Opposition a handle to wield against the minister and the CPI-M. According to them, it was preferential treatment as the same was not forthcoming at Pahargoomiah, which was locked out prior to New Chumta. Pahargoomiah too is located in the Siliguri sub-division but falls in the jurisdiction of the adjacent Phansidewa Assembly constituency.

As far as today’s agreements are concerned, the functioning workers’ unions are satisfied that they succeeded in avoiding a retrenchment proposal put forth by the New Chumta management.

Source > The Statesman

Starvations and deaths due to tea garden lockouts

Assam and Darjeeling tea estate lockouts have led to malnutrition and starvation deaths in India this month.

Roopacherra tea estate in South Assam has been under lockout for nearly month after the executives abandoned it. Leading to the death of a three-year-old girl, Shivani Kalindi and two workers, Yogendra Kalindi, 22, and Manorama Dev, 60, according the workers' panchayat (council). Shivani had been taken to the garden hospital on Tuesday evening, but no doctor was available. “Even electricity to the healthcare centre had been cut off,” a union member said.

After the death of the girl, workers defied the lockout and began picking and selling leaf to other factories for their survival. The Katlicherra police have registered a case against the "absconding" tea executives and a fact-finding team has been set up to look into the deaths by the Hailakandi administration. Some food was given by the local administration after a hunger strike by a large group of women workers.

Dilip Singh, president of the garden panchayat, claimed that the out-of-work labour force was scavenging for roots and tubers of plants in the absence of food as most women and children in the labour colony were suffering from malnutrition related ailments. “We are afraid workers may consume something poisonous without knowing it”. Singh said the workers’ patience was wearing thin and warned of a bigger crisis if the estate management did not change its attitude.

Roopacherra tea estate has a 1,400-strong workforce, who have been paid no wages since a lockout was declared on January 19.The reason cited by the management for the lockout was “flagrant violation of instructions relating to attendance”.

Also this week, a bandh (24-hour general strike) was called by workers in Calcutta over more closed tea gardens in the Dooars and Darjeeling.

A spokesman from the Intuc union told a press conference: “Enough is enough. We as trade union leaders cannot be silent spectators when the ruling Marxists are giving false promises of reopening the closed tea gardens in north Bengal. So, a bandh is the last resort,"

He said families of over 30,000 permanent workers of 17 closed tea gardens are “almost starving”.

In addition to the starvation deaths in Assam, Joyma Teli, 23, a mother of two young children, and employee of the Dalsinghpara tea garden attempted suicide this week. She set herself on fire and had to be admitted to hospital with severe burn injuries. Joyma has a son, Ajoy, aged six and a daughter, Rinku, aged 18 months, and was unable to feed them properly having not received her wages. The 2,295 workers of Dalsinghpara tea estate were left in the lurch when the management fled the garden on February 9th, the third garden to be abandoned that day.

Entrepreneur Gopi Nath Das ordered his managerial staff to leave the Dalsignhpara estate. It was pay-day and Rs 8.56 lakh was required to clear the wages. Workers alleged that eight managerial staff members, who told them that they were short by Rs 90,000, left the garden one by one on the pretext of getting the deficit amount from the bank.

Manohar Tirkey, the secretary of the Dooars Cha Bagan Mazdoor Union, said the garden was taken over by the Calcutta-based LMJ International Ltd in June 2004. “They had promised to clear the dues, but did not. As a result, more dues have accrued since then. The workers have not been paid four months’ wages, provident fund and gratuity worth more than a crore,” Tirkey said.

Source >

After train and bus, Tea to Pakistan

“Pakistan consumes about 140 million kg tea procured mostly from Kenya. The Tea Association of India has been pursuing the matter with Union commerce minister Mr Kamal Nath to facilitate tea export to Pakistan in view of the improved bilateral relations, but we are yet to observe any improvement on this front.”

“TAI has also suggested the inclusion of tea in the list of items for export through the Wagah border and to urge Pakistan to import tea free of duty. These measures should reduce the landed cost of Indian tea in the Pakistan markets and help it compete against Kenyan tea. But again no development in this front.”

The statement came from the TAI president, Mr AK Kothari, during the organisation’s 35th AGM on 11 February.

The industry admits sotto voce that around 70 million kg tea used to furtively find its way to the Pakistan markets from India prior to 1999. But all that changed after the Kargil War.

According to the TAI official, the lack of an aggressive marketing strategy to promote tea in the global arena is hurting export and Indian tea is steadily loosing ground to Kenya and Sri Lanka. “The Tea Board, with cooperation from the producers and merchant exporters should take the lead in this direction,” the TAI official said.

His alternative suggestion is to fall back on the domestic market.

“With performance at the export front way below expectation, the alternative left is to concentrate on the domestic market. And for that, a strong and sustained generic campaign is the need of the hour and here, too, the Tea Board should in conjunction with the industry take a leading role,” Mr Kothari said.

The prolonged depression in the industry has exposed the stakeholders to some stark realities and the tea barons are at pains to get to the root of it all.

“The traditional model of tea-making is no longer sacrosanct. Marketing has occupied centrestage and it is a buyers’ market out there,” the TAI president said.

Source > The Statesman

Tea Laborer attempts suicide

The inability to provide her family proper meals for the past two days and the shock of not receiving her wages yesterday has led a woman worker of the Dalsinghpara tea garden to attempt suicide.

Joyma Teli, 23, a mother of two young children, set herself on fire this morning and had to be admitted to the subdivisional hospital here with severe burn injuries. Joyma has a son, Ajoy, aged six and a daughter, Rinku, aged 18 months.

“We had all been waiting for our wages last evening and when the management did not pay us, Joyma went home shattered since it was the second day that she had not been able to cook a meal for her children. She poured kerosene on herself had set her clothes on fire,” said a neighbour, Kaushali Teli.

Lachchu Teli, the woman’s father-in-law, said the workers have been going through very tough times and Joyma and his son, Jitbahan, were both without any money.

“My son, who is a labourer in Bhutan, also has not received any payment recently,” he said.

Joyma had to be referred to the subdivisional hospital because there is no doctor in the garden.

Source > The Telegraph

3 Tea gardens abandoned in 24 hours

Three gardens have been abandoned in the Dooars in the past 24 hours.

The 2,295 workers of Dalsinghpara tea estate, 8 km from here, were left in the lurch when the management fled the garden yesterday, the day on which the workers were supposed to get their wages and ration.

This is the third garden to be abandoned yesterday.

On the plea that the liabilities of Kalchini and Raimatang tea estates were far in excess of what was mentioned in the agreement when they were bought in November, entrepreneur Gopi Nath Das yesterday had ordered his managerial staff to leave the gardens.

In Dalsinghpara, it was pay-day yesterday and Rs 8.56 lakh was required to clear the wages. Workers alleged that eight managerial staff members, who told them that they were short by Rs 90,000, left the garden one by one on the pretext of getting the deficit amount from the bank.

The only person left was a factory assistant, Suman Raina, who left the garden this afternoon.

“I received a fax from our head office in Calcutta today stating that payment will be made to all workers barring the 429 who were served notices for being absent from work on December 8 last year. However, the workers’ union has rejected the offer,” Raina said before leaving.

Manohar Tirkey, the secretary of the Dooars Cha Bagan Mazdoor Union, said the garden was taken over by the Calcutta-based LMJ International Ltd in June 2004. “They had promised to clear the dues, but did not. As a result, more dues have accrued since then. The workers have not been paid four months’ wages, provident fund and gratuity worth more than a crore,” Tirkey said.

He said despite issuing a notice yesterday that wages would be distributed, the management made a criminal offence by not paying up.

The deputy secretary of the Dooars Branch of Indian Tea Association, Pranjal Neogy, said he had no information on Dalsinghpara tea garden.

In the meantime, the management of Kalchini and Raimatang tea gardens were absent from the meeting convened today in Alipurduar by assistant labour commissioner M. Saha.

“We have asked the assistant labour commissioner to ensure that essential supplies are sent to the two gardens,” said Rabi Mitra, the secretary of the Citu-affiliated Cha Bagan Mazdoor Union.

Source > The Telegraph

Tea Laborers left in the lurch

From the saviour to the devil. Workers of Kalchini and Raimatang gardens feel that it did not take Gopi Nath Das much time to switch roles.

With the management abandoning the two gardens yesterday on the pretext of trying to arrange “funds for the workers”, 3,243 labourers have been left in the lurch.

Credited with turning the fortunes of the closed Dheklapara tea estate within months, Das had last year announced his plan to invest Rs 100 crore in the tea industry in the next three years. Impressed by his initiative, Jalpaiguri district magistrate A. Subbiah invited him to take over Kalchini and Raimatang, estates that had been going through tough times.

In September 2005, seven managers from Kalchini and Raimatang had resigned. What followed was a series of workers’ protests — from stripping the almost century-old European Club brick by brick to putting up road and train blockades. With a promise to clear all dues, Das took over the two gardens from Buxa Dooars Tea Company Limited on November 22.

Trouble began when Das wrote two letters to the district administration and the trade unions — on January 31 and February 7 — stating that the liabilities of both the gardens were far more than what he had bargained for. Till today the management owed 30 days’ wages and 45 days’ ration to the workers.

“When I signed the memorandum of understanding last year, I was told that the liabilities were worth Rs 25 crore. But now we have come to know that the actual dues run up to Rs 41 crore, an amount that I think, I will not be able to clear. Till such time the district administration decides on how to clear the dues, it will not be possible for me to make fresh investments,” Das said.

He claimed that he has already invested more than a crore in the gardens.

While Subbiah said the issue was being looked into, assistant labour commissioner M. Saha has convened a tripartite meeting tomorrow.

Pravat Mukherjee, the general secretary of the National Union of Plantation Workers — the largest union in the two gardens — said: “The workers do not know whether the liabilities are Rs 25 crore or Rs 41 crore. It is a criminal offence on the part of the new owner not to clear wages and dues for the period of work during his tenure as owner.”

Lalao Oraon, a woman worker of Kalchini estate, said: “We are back to square one. He (Das) is not the god we thought him to be. He is like the others.” The workers have, however, not stopped working.

Source > The Telegraph

Goodricke Group to donate Rs. 1 Crore to school building

The Goodricke Group will plough in around Rs 1 crore to gift a new building to its school for challenged children.

Goodricke School of Special Education, set up at 2nd Mile, Siliguri, is expected to start functioning from April. “We are already running the school out of a rented place,” said K.S. David, the managing director of the company. Once a child is enrolled on the school, the institution takes cares of his/her financial burden.

The present school is already a huge success among spastic children who otherwise find it difficult to relate to regular education programme. “They need special attention and we have six units catering to the 70-odd children with different disabilities,” said Sushma Nair, the principal.

Depending on the improvement of their mental growth, the students graduate to different levels — from play-group to the vocation unit.

“They can also get training in vocational courses like candle making, card designing and fabric painting,” said Nair. The school also has home-management programmes, including workshops and counselling sessions for parents. “For these special children, parents are the best teachers,” Nair added.

Many of the students have started working in “sheltered” environments like workshops while some have even started their own business.

The Source > The Telegraph

Smuggled Tea leaves from Nepal to be stopped

Tea smuggled in from Nepal and finding its way to some bought-leaf factories has always been a major source of worry for the small tea growers of the region. Although the authorities acknowledge the problem, not much has been done to rectify the conditions.

The conditions are likely to change now following a meeting convened by the state industry and the commerce ministry in Kolkata yesterday. Senior bureaucrats of several state departments, the chairman of the Tea Board and representatives of the tea associations, small tea growers and workers’ unions attended the meeting.

The secretary of the United Small Tea Growers’ Association Mr Bijoygopal Chakrabarty said: “To stop Nepalese tea finding its way surreptitiously to a section of bought-leaf factories, a proposal to introduce special policing along the border was mooted during the meeting. The proposal, which got the support of the Tea Board chairman, was endorsed by the industry and commerce minister Mr Nirupam Sen.” In addition to this, the policy makers also took some major decisions pertaining to the small tea growers sector, such as the allotment of no-objection certificates to the small growers and need-based permission for setting up bought-leaf factories, if required.

The state government has decided to protect agricultural land against the proliferation of tea plantations. “No more tea plantations or projects will be allowed on agricultural land. On the contrary, those that came up on agricultural land after the announced cut-off date of 30 June 2001 will be discouraged,” the USTGA official said.

According to him, it was decided that the Tea Board would finance an immediate survey to be conducted jointly by the land department, the district administration and the small growers to identify the land cultivated by small tea growers in the state, the volume of production and the date on which small tea plantations were set up.

Mr Chakrabarty informed: “As the state government declared tea plantations that came up on agricultural land after 30 June 2001 as illegal, all those plantations that have been set up after that date will have to be uprooted at the owners’ own cost following the proposed survey.” Though the state government has stopped allotting licenses for more bought-leaf factories, there is an outside chance that some may be allowed in the coming days if there is a tea glut. A decision to allot no-objection certificates to bona fide small tea plantations on a time-bound scale was also adopted at the meeting.

Source > The Statesman

Modernisation Tea fund to be sanctioned after a scan

Tea estates seeking financial assistance from the Rs 4,700-crore modernisation fund — to be sanctioned for the revival of the tea industry — should be put under scanner.

Trade union leaders who attended yesterday’s meeting, convened by state commerce and industry minister Nirupam Sen, said they have asked the government to scrutinise the financial condition of the estates before issuing them a long-term loan of 15 years against an interest of 2.5 per cent.

“We specifically mentioned at the meeting that management of estates like Kanthalguri, Ramjhora and Raipur should not be given financial assistance from this fund. The management of these gardens left without any reason and intimation and stayed out of conciliation meetings, leaving the labourers to suffer. We will not have these owners reopening their units by utilising government funds,” said Chitta Dey, the convener of the Coordination Committee of Tea Plantation Workers.

For monitoring and proper utilisation of the fund, union leaders have also asked the minister to form a joint committee comprising tea planters, government officials and labour leaders.

Small tea growers, on the other hand, have decided to form self-help groups, Bijoygopal Chakrobarty, convener of United Forum of Small tea Growers’ Associations said.

Source > The Telegraph

Chungtung Management stay away from meeting

Talks of reopening the closed Chungtung tea garden remained inconclusive after the management failed to attend the meeting called by the district administration here today.

The assistant labour commissioner’s office has convened another meeting here on Thursday. Sources maintained that the district administration has decided to initiate legal action if the management refuses to attend that meeting as well.

The district administration, meanwhile, will distribute foodgrain in the estate to prevent starvation. Each worker’s family is expected to receive around 30 kg of foodgrain over a period of 14 days.

So far, no starvation deaths have been reported from the garden, which has remained closed since January 13.

Today’s meeting fell through after the management, which wanted the venue to be shifted to Siliguri, refused to attend it citing security reasons.

The trade union wings of both the GNLF and the Opposition, which have come together on the reopening issue, have decided to wait till the next round of meetings before deciding on their course of action.

Source > The Telegraph

DPA and Tea Board meet in Darjeeling

Tea planters here have decided to conduct a workshop for their executives to provide Darjeeling Tea an edge in the face of emerging trends in the global tea trade.

The three-day workshop will focus on finding ways to improve the efficiency of workers and will be attended by managers and other garden officials. The programme will help the garden staff understand the changes in the global scenario. Organised by the Tea Board in association with Darjeeling Tea Association, the workshop will be coordinated by Maitreyi R. Kollegal from the Indian Institute of Plantation Management, Bangalore.

Sources said apart from providing an overview of the new challenges in the tea industry, resource personnel and the tea officials will be working towards understanding markets in the new competitive context.

Over the years, the Indian tea industry, including Darjeeling Tea, has been facing stiff competition from other tea producing countries like Sri Lanka and Kenya especially with regard to pricing. Keeping this aspect of the trade in mind, a special session will be dedicated to discussing cost control and competitiveness.

The workshop is also expected to discuss the fact that though quality of Darjeeling Tea is still unmatched, the annual production has not crossed the 9-million kg-mark for the past few years. The emphasis will also be on strengthening estate and supply chain management, which is most essential to improve the condition of the gardens.

New product development and marketing initiatives will also be dealt with in detail so that the industry can capture new markets. The Darjeeling Tea Association in collaboration with the Tea Board have conducted many promotional tours in Europe in the past and industry observers believe that understanding modern marketing techniques would further boost their efforts.

Source > The Telegraph