Tea planters target children to promote consumption

Kolkata : The Indian Tea Association (ITA) is planning to launch a promotional campaign for children aimed at increasing domestic consumption, an official said here on Tuesday.

A study by the Tea Board showed that per capita tea consumption was a mere 786 gm, ITA Chairman Azam Monem told reporters here. "In India, we found a population of 350 million do not drink tea and they are all children," he said.
"We want to start promoting tea with children. We have done it with youths, colleges and now want do it through schools.
ITA is working out a strategy following the study and presentations by two advertising agencies. The industry will fund the promotion. The campaign will fit into school calendar, he added.

The campaign, however, would not be pan-India as the industry cannot afford it, Monem said. In terms of exports, there is a move to gain a market share in Iran and Iraq.

"A delegation, headed by Commerce Ministry and Tea Promotion Council of India along with our representation, will be visiting Iraq from July 23-26. Iraq has a 100 million kg market," he said.

About Iran, Monem said: "In the last two years, we have done well in exporting to Iran. There is talk of embargo coming or sanctions being operative from November. Tea will find its own way."

Prices of tea have been virtually flat. "All India average tea auction price in 2017 was at Rs 133.11 a kg. This is due to oversupply situation of 100-120 million kg," he said.

ITA has asked the government to increase the exports subsidy so that planters can produce more exportable teas and do a massive generic promotion campaign in order to increase domestic consumption.