It has been a strange year for the tea industry in India, but hopes are good for this year. “Business in 2021 should be good as the thrust to try and maintain high levels would be there.”, says Tea consultant Parveez Arshad Hussain.
How do you look back on 2020?
It has been a very unusual year for everyone in the world, with countries going under lock down from March onwards, no one was prepared for such a debacle and the unprepared situation caught everyone off guard. It was a very bad situation in India as well, as a lot of migrant workers had to leave their place of work to come back home. They had to travel hundreds of miles on foot, as all public transports were suspended. Many lost their lives and the situation was very tragic.
How hard was it in the tea business?
Initially it meant that the gardens also were closed, but it slowly opened with maintaining the protocols laid down by the WHO in terms of wearing masks, sanitizing and maintaining social distance. The Assam CTC market boomed as there was less tea in the market which made the prices go up astronomically. Slowly that trend was seen for teas from all around the country. Only after Autumn there was a correction in the market and the prices had generalised.
What do you expect business wise for 2021?
Business in 2021 should be good as the thrust to try and maintain high levels would be there.
What will the trends be in tea for 2021? Any examples?
It is a little early to predict anything now, but everyone is hopeful of a great start to 2021. Plucking would commence in the Dooars and Terai region from the 15th of February 2021 and Darjeeling from 22nd February 2021. Assam is also starting round about the same time.