Home > Business > Business Headline > Report
EU puts Indian tea on watch list
M Chhaya in Kolkata |
March 10, 2003 17:29 IST
Indian teas will have to meet new health standards being set by the European Union or lose the European market, one of the most profitable.
Indian tea exporters fear tough times once the health guidelines come into effect from July. By then, they will have to ensure their consignments comply with prescribed pesticide and fertiliser limits.
According to Tea Board sources, the new EU laws governing imports of agricultural goods ban the use of 320 types of pesticides and fertilizers, many of which are used by Indian tea growers.
"Automatically, Indian tea will be watched," the sources said.
A list of the 'dos and don'ts' has reached the Tea Board and it has been made clear if Indian tea consignments failed to meet the prescribed standards, they could be stopped from selling in the EU member countries.
"The EU is aiming at achieving lowest possible pesticide and fertiliser levels in agricultural products. Even the permissible pesticides can not go above the level of 3 mg per kilogram of tea," the sources said.
India's tea production currently stands at about 850 million kg. Germany and Britain are among the biggest European importers of Indian tea, but steadily Sri Lanka and Kenyan teas were denting into these markets with their organic variety.
Indian tea accounts for about 20 per cent of the global market. The United Arab Emirates, Iraq and Iran are some of the growing markets for Indian tea, though traditional markets in Russia and the CIS are seen to be falling.