Many countries reject and send back Indian tea, Here's why
Tea Board plans to increase exports to fill the void left by crisis-hit Sri Lanka in the global market. However, consignment rejection is causing a drop in outbound shipments.
Due to pesticides and chemicals above permissible limits, several tea consignments were rejected by international and domestic buyers, Chairman of the Indian Tea Exporters Association, Anshuman Kanoria, stated on Friday.
The Tea Board plans to increase exports to fill the void left by crisis-hit Sri Lanka in the global market. However, consignment rejection is causing a drop in outbound shipments.
All teas sold in India must meet India's Food Safety and Standards Authority (FSSAI) standards. But, most buyers are purchasing tea with unusually high chemical content, Kanoria said while talking to PTI.
India exported 195.90 million kg of tea in 2021. The Commonwealth of Independent States nations and Iran were the main buyers. This year, the board intends to produce 300 million kg of tea.
According to Kanoria, many countries have strict entry regulations for tea. However, most countries adhere to variations of EU standards that are more stringent than FSSAI rules.
He added, "Rather than following the law, many people encourage the government to make the FSSAI regulations more flexible." Additionally, this would send the wrong message because the beverage is considered a healthy drink.
According to a senior Tea Board official, the issue has prompted complaints from tea packers and exporters.
"Producers must follow the existing FSSAI guidelines to the letter. Producers' organisations have raised the issue of changing the rules with FSSAI. Exports must adhere to the existing norms of the importing countries," he said. In 2021, India exported tea worth Rs 5,246.89 crore.