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Sustainability code for tea industry from July 11

VADODARA: Tea Board Chairman MGVK Bhanu has said the board will unveil a 'sustainability code' for the industry on July 11, and redefine the way it operates. 

Addressing the 24th annual general meeting of the 
Federation of All-India Tea Traders Associations at Anand, about 40 kilometres from Vadodara, Bhanu said yesterday: "The board will introduce a set of parameters which will redefine the way tea industry works, right from production to certification to labour welfare to maintenance of global safety standards." 

Stating that the code will be viable for all the stakeholders, Bhanu added, "the sustainability code is a broad-based package aimed at all-round development of the tea sector." 

Being developed by the board in collaboration with four reputed agencies associated with the industry, the code encompasses all aspects of tea production. 

"The aim of the initiative is to sustain the tea industry by following the set of codes developed keeping Indian realities and globally accepted sustainability principles in mind to improve the social and economic conditions of the plantations," Tea Board adviser and former Director G Boriah said. 

The code will also include parameters to be adopted to boost productivity, introduce labour welfare measures, maintain safety standards in factories and limit use of pesticides in the plantations. 

He said the board had evolved a draft code that would be launched on a pilot basis and tested for the next six to nine months. 

"The idea is to improve quality compliance, mitigate effects of climate change, ensure ethical sourcing and inclusion of small farmers in the mainstream," he said. 

He further said the sustainability code is aimed at ensuring that consumers get a healthy cup of tea, keeping in mind the food safety standards, importance for which is growing globally.