Small-scale tea firms of the Nilgiris have appealed to Tamil Nadu Government to source all its requirements for its Ooty Tea brand marketed through the apex body of co-operative tea factories, Indcoserve, from the district's small-scale sector itself.
“Although the Government has named this brand ‘Ooty Tea', it is a misnomer because substantial volumes of Assam tea are blended with Nilgiri tea. Even now, tenders have been floated to purchase 700 tonnes of Assam tea,” H Thiagarajan, President, Nilgiris Small Tea Growers' Association, told BL.
“We have informed the Government that there is no need to blend Ooty Tea with Assam tea when the Nilgiri-based small-scale sector can supply any grade or quality tea required for the purpose. The Indcoserve has fixed the landed cost in Coonoor at Rs 115 a kg. As the auction average in North India itself is around Rs 115, only low-quality Assam tea can be bought at this landed cost,” he said.
“The Indcoserve had procured teas from our factories in the past. We can supply all grades at reasonable price. This will boost the returns to the nearly 65,000 small growers in the Nilgiris,” Ramesh Bhojarajan, President, Nilgiris Bought-Leaf Tea Manufacturers' Association is quoted as saying by the report.