FAITTA supports Commerce Ministry and Tea Board’s decision for 100% dust auction move

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West Bengal (Kolkata) [India], March 11: The Federation of All India Tea Traders Association (FAITTA), the apex body of tea traders, buyers, packers, and retailers of tea in India, has extended support to the Commerce Ministry and Tea Board’s decision to conduct 100% dust tea auction trial for three months.

In a recent notification, the Commerce Ministry stated that 100% of dust grade tea produced in a calendar year in manufacturing units located in Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Himachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim, Tripura, Uttarakhand, and West Bengal, would be sold through public tea auctions. This decision has led to concerns about potential disruptions in production, which would especially affect small tea growers. However, FAITTA has dismissed such concerns as unwarranted.

Sanjay Shah, Chairman of FAITTA, said, “The recent statements are also against the spirit of an industry-driven initiative which has been enacted by way of the order mandating 100 per cent auction of dust tea grades. FAITTA unequivocally supports the Commerce Ministry and the Tea Board on this decision. It is a step in the right direction. It is the only solution to detect and deter the use of banned chemicals in our national drink, tea, transparently and serves the interests of 150 crore Indian tea consumers.”

According to FAITTA, the directive marks a significant step towards implementing a more rigorous process of testing and reporting of food safety results. Pledging to play a vital role in making the endeavour a success, FAITTA said its members would actively participate in the dust tea auctions.

“This system will enhance transparency and boost the confidence of buyers. It will benefit small tea growers, who will be able to gauge what prices buyers are paying for their produce and demand their fair share from bought leaf factories. FAITTA is committed to supporting the auction system and ensuring fair price discovery for small tea growers,” Shah said further.

FAITTA is committed to offering teas compliant with food safety standards to consumers in India and internationally and seeks the support of small tea growers and bought-leaf factories.

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