The Tea Auctioneers and Buyers Association of Calcutta (TABAC) and Tea Board will hold a tea festival for the generic promotion of tea in mid-May at the ITC Sonar Bangla in Kolkata at a total cost of Rs 25 lakh.
According to TABAC President Gopal Poddar, “The two-day festival aims to maintain, if not increase, the present level of domestic consumption at 650 million kg a year. At the moment, we are facing a lot of competition from coffee and soft drinks.”
The festival shall promote tea as a health drink and seek to reach out to the younger generation by inviting school and college students, Sobhagya Advertising Director Srenik Sett who is in charge of the promotion, said.
The festival shall comprise workshops by experts from the Tea Research Institute, and presentation of various recipes by expert chefs using tea as a major ingredient. “We shall teach people about making iced tea, and using tea in various permutations and combinations to make it tasty and delicious,” says Seth.
The Kolkata Festival is the second such promotion in the country. The first of these was held by the Federation of Indian Tea Associations (FIATA)--of which TABAC is a part--in Delhi on January 30.
Incidentally, tea is the second most widely consumed drink worldwide after water.
Currently, India exports 180-185 million kg, as against 650 million kgs of domestic consumption. “This leaves us with a total of 200 million kg surplus annually,” says Poddar.
The promotion is meant to ensure that the surplus is taken care of, and the prices do not fall.
India is the largest producer of tea, followed by China. However, India mainly produces black tea, while China produces the green variety. India’s share of world tea exports stands at 17 per cent. Sri Lanka is the largest exporter of tea, followed by Kenya, China and India.