Ramanan, president, Nakkubetta Small Tea Growers Association said, “Now it is a season for tea crops as the hills receive good rain. Also, we have seen a high price of Rs 30/kg for green leaf tea.” He said, “In this situation, the BLFs are asking us to supply only fine leaf tea which is not possible at this juncture. At least they should give us a time of three weeks so that the current crop could be harvested and supplied to the factories”.
In the forthcoming cycle of harvesting, we can concentrate on fine leaves. Otherwise, the current crop will go for a waste, he added.
Ramesh Bhojraj, executive committee member, Nilgiris Bought Leaf Factories Association said, “The factories are sticking to the guidelines put forth by the Tea Board. Recently, 109 BLFs were issued show-cause notices for deviations including lack of quality green leaf procurement.”
According to Tea Board guidelines, a BLF should procure 65% of fine leaf tea, 30% of soft leaf and remaining coarse leaf.
The board issued show cause notices to 109 BLFs for deviations such as lack of quality leaf procurement, poor hygiene standards, non-maintenance of statutory records, default in online payment to tea growers, non-adherence to the licensed production limit, non-removal of iron filings, non-filing of monthly returns in the tea waste portal, non-payment of green leaf price as per the Price Sharing Formula to the farmers and beyond permissible level of tea waste accumulation.