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The year 2016 is considered as a momentous year for small tea growers in India. From 14 percent of national tea production in 2006, small tea growers now account for 50 percent of the production in the country. Despite several challenges such as green leaf price fluctuations, fall in the tea yield rate and shortage of labour, small tea growers have stood up to these challenges and are emerging as winners. They are gradually taking an interest to manufacture tea themselves.
With over 40 partner small tea manufacturers from North-eastern India, TeaOrb considers her hard-working associates as her greatest strength. Although small tea growers are increasing in numbers across tea growing regions of India, even now many of these farmers feel trapped. According to a study done by Ministry of Commerce and Industries on small tea growers in 2012, auction markets do not provide any hedging or risk management for the growers even as tea prices are volatile and fluctuate periodically. Moreover, the tea growers are also at the mercy of leaf agents or intermediaries, who offer high interest loans to the growers, adding to their vulnerability.
Keeping these factors in mind, we at TeaOrb have devised the concept of Farm to Cup. The aim of this concept is to meet quality standards for our patrons across the world and better earnings for the tea growers. In other words, since small tea manufacturers do not produce in huge quantities, depending on the needs of the market, they ship the tea to our fulfilment center within a short time of production. At our fulfilment centers, tea is stored in aluminium bins in controlled environment after tasting and valuation by our panel of experts. Due to small quantities, we find it easier to retain the freshness of the tea till it reaches your cup. For the small tea manufacturers, this situation is extremely advantageous. If the finished product matches all the quality standards, we offer the price as quoted by the an empanelled member of small tea growers' consortiums.
The concept of farm to cup has another dimension that of tea tourism. Besides bringing you high quality tea, we have gone a step ahead and are promoting what we call tea tourism. This is a unique opportunity for our patrons to visit them and experience the goodness themselves. With sufficient backing from patrons, farm to cup is a stepping stone for another revolution in the tea cup.