JALPAIGURI:16 December, 2008- Dooars and Terai tea, which account to about 30 per cent of the total tea produced in India, can now be distinguished by its new brand mark - an elephant standing against the backdrop of tea bushes.
This is the fourth tea logo in the country. Tea produced in Assam, Darjeeling and the Nilgiris already have their own logos in place. All types of tea produced in the gardens in Dooars and Terai would carry the Dooars logo. The Tea Board of India will start using the logo shortly after its registration.
The Tea Board of India unveiled the logo on Sunday. It chose a jumbo to be a part of the logo as the two regions - Dooars and Terai - are as famous for their elephants and tea. Interestingly, this logo is similar to that of Assam Tea but Dooars and Terai tea has an elephant, while Assam Tea has a rhino.
Jairam Ramesh, union minister of state for commerce and industries inaugurated the logo at the Indian Tea Planters' Association office. Ramesh also inaugurated an office of the Tea Board of India in Jalpaiguri on Sunday. Owing to the emergence of the small tea growers as a major tea contributor in the region, the Tea Board India decided to open its office here. There are more than 15, 000 small tea growers and 87 bought leaf factories in the region. The Tea Board office will also monitor the other 172 set gardens in the district.
The Tea Board has also decided to upgrade the tea research sub-station of Tea Research Association at Nagrakata in Jalpaiguri into a full fledged tea research station. A sum of Rs20 crore has been made available to Doklai tea institute in Assam to turn it into a full-fledged tea research institute, of which Rs3crore has been earmarked for having R&D facility the smaller tea research centre at Nagrakata in Jalpaiguri district of neighbouring West Bengal.
Along with all these developments, India's first 'tea park' is set to be launched in early-January on a 50-acre plot in Jalpaiguri district in West Bengal and is expected to give a special impetus to exports of tea from the Dooars and Terai regions in North Bengal.
Ramesh said that the park would have a warehouse-hub and also facilities for cleaning, grading, blending and packaging tea. While land for the project has been acquired from the Railways by the West Bengal Government, the Centre would spend Rs16 crore to set up this infrastructure as part of the ASIDE scheme (Assistance to States for Infrastructure Development for Exports).
The introduction of logos to identify tea from specific regions such as Jalpaiguri-Dooars, Darjeeling, Terai would help to denote the brand and help maintain a minimum standard besides checking imitation. The world famous Darjeeling tea, known for its legendary flavour, has been a victim of imitation following reports that tea produced in the neighbouring hills of Nepal were being marketed as Darjeeling tea.