German Consul General visits Darjeeling Tea Gardens

After a two-week stay, during which he interacted with the local tea industry officials, the German Consul General for Eastern India, Mr Gunter Whermann, would leave for his Kolkata office tomorrow.

He visited at least three major Darjeeling tea gardens, while holding discussions with Darjeeling Tea Association members here. Germany being one of the biggest buyers of Darjeeling tea, the industry accorded a special welcome to him.

“Germany has a large tea market and I was interested to see for myself the production of Darjeeling tea at factory level,” Mr Whermann said. He noted that an average German tea drinker was familiar only with Indian and Ceylonese tea; major competitors like Kenya and China remained unfamiliar in the German tea market.

He said he had suggested DTA members to participate in the Frankfurt Book Fair, one of world’s largest fair of its kind, which is held in October. “The idea is that book and tea share a very close relation. I am sure the organisers of the fair would be interested in such an idea. I have asked the members to get in touch with the organisers.”

Notably, India happens to be the theme country for this year’s Frankfurt Book Fair. Similarly, an Industrial Fair at Hanover which will be held next month, and which is expected to be attended by Prime Minister Mr Manmohan Singh, also has India as its theme, Mr Whermann disclosed.

The Consul General also said that organic tea, particularly green tea, were gaining popularity in Germany. Asked about his impressions on tourism in Darjeeling, Mr Whermann said: “Darjeeling could make a terrific package, with its four Ts – tea, train (Darjeeling Himalayan Railway), Tibetan temples and Tenzing. It is also a matter of how the package will be marketed, which is extremely important. “Having done that quality accommodation will have to be provided to tourists who will come from abroad.”

Source > The Statesman