Tea: A Global Beverage

Life without tea is unthinkable for the billions of people who rely on their cherished cup of tea to get them through the day.
Tea is considered as having a share of the global beverage market, a highly competitive field. A wide range of tea products continue to be developed, through product and process development for added-value, as market shares become more sophisticated and competitive. Today, the economic and social importance of tea production has become so significant.
Thousands of years have come and gone, but tea remains as both a method for medicinal intake and a near cure-all for a variety of ailments, depending on what you’re brewing. Through the ages, further experimentation revealed the natural healthy properties and benefits of tea, from pleasant beverage to tonic herb and various topical applications. One positive impact of demographic changes is the growth of domestic tea consumption in producer countries. Instead of exporting, many countries are now drinking their own tea. China is now drinking 60% of its own tea; Bangladesh is a new importer. Countries that were suppliers are now becoming users.
Tea has a huge economic and social significance, with millions of people relying on it to support their lives and well-being, and yet the industry faces unprecedented challenges. However this industry is facing a multitude of problems. Lack of capital and modern machinery, lower market value of made tea in comparison to increasing production cost, lower yield per hectare in comparison to increasing domestic need and lack of modern techniques for measuring quality of tea, and 50-60% of the production cost is in the labour cost constitute some of the nagging problems.
Involving more than 10 million workers, the tea industry needs to be strengthened. Adequate attention needs to be paid to the stakeholders that include regulators, producers, consumers and workers, studying the situations.
In the milieu of this situation, the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) in association with the Tea Board of India and the Directorate of Tea, Government of Assam organised the North East Tea Conclave and Expo 2016(NETCE) at Guwahati, Assam. The focus of the Conclave was to identify the best global models and practices, strengthen market linkages and prepare strategies for a robust tea industry in the north east in terms of productivity, marketability and sustainability.

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