RPG develops tech for orthodox tea

Kochi: RPG group company Harrisons Malayalam Limited (HML) has built up capacity to convert more than half of its annual tea production into orthodox tea with the commissioning of the new orthodox manufacturing facility at Wallardie tea factory in Vandiperiyar on Tuesday, HML sources said.

HML is south India’s largest cultivator of tea and a prominent exporter. HML had inaugurated a similar facility in its Chundale factory outlet in Wayanad a few months back.

Wallardie factory orthodox facility is second in line as part of HML’s plan to be versatile in its ability to do CTC and orthodox tea manufacture to exploit higher prices in favour as per market conditions. Cost reduction from the functioning of the new factories and the ability to convert more tea into orthodox should help the company increase its revenues, HML sources said.

HML also buys green leaf to maximise the capacity utilisation of its tea factories. Wallardie factory has a capacity to process 50 tonne of green leaf per day and an annual capacity of 3.5 million kg of tea. The capital outlay is about Rs.4.6 crore and the pay back is less than a year.

The factory has state-of-the-art machinery aiding automation and quality control. HML Wallardie orthodox teas are exported to Russia, Middle East and European countries. Wallardie orthodox facility will also enable HML to pay good prices to the small growers and suppliers of good quality green leaf.

Retail sales of its branded tea are also expected to increase significantly with the company focusing on extending its distribution network to Goa, Orissa and Maharashtra. The company had a turnover of Rs 291 crore in 2008-09 as against Rs 204 crore in 2007-08.

Source: Financial Express