Tea Biz
Tea Biz

Episode · 9 months ago

Tea News and Biz Insight - October 22, 2021

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HEAR THE HEADLINES – Sri Lanka Abandons Fertilizer Ban for Tea | Kenya’s KTDA Sets a Minimum Price for Auctioned Tea | AVPA Announces Teas of the World Winners| NEWSMAKER – Harkirat ”Harki” Sidhu, Rainforest Alliance India’s Consulting Program Coordinator for Sustainable Landscapes & Livelihoods| FEATURES – This week Tea Biz travels to Calcutta, India for an in-depth conversation with Harkirat (Harki) Sidhu, Rainforest Alliance India’s Consulting Program Coordinator for Sustainable Landscapes & Livelihoods. Harki is an expert in mechanical tea harvesters. He makes a compelling argument for improving tea quality utilizing labor hours that are gained by farms that invest in these time-saving machines.Mechanical Tea Harvesting Mechanical harvesting gets a bad rap. This is because poorly trained operators using poorly maintained equipment damage bushes, lowering yield and leaf quality. Simple routines such as level trimming in one direction in a single long sweep over half the plucking plane produces excellent leaf. Innovations like creating a seasonal calendar to regulate the gap between plucking rounds and paying workers for the area they shear, instead of by the kilo, keep yields high. Smallholders sharing equipment who then use the many hours of labor saved for field maintenance and to complete agricultural chores like pruning, mulching and weed abatement deliver raw leaf of exceptional quality to factories.

The Tea Biz podcast delivers a recap of the week's major tea news head lines, with commentary and cultural trends. Hosted by Dan Bolton, Te Biz is the voice of origin for tea professionals and enthusiast's worldlot think of us as a digital caravan of storytellers, bringing authentic, authoritative and exclusive stories to you weekly from the tea lands. Hello everyone here. This week's head lines Shri Lanka Abandons Fertilizer Band for Tea, Kenya's Kati Da sets a minimum price for auction tea and a vpa announces tea's of the world winners. More in a minute, but first this important message. What makes a Perfect Cup of Ceylon tea? The Perfect Cup is from the tea businesses that ensure the protection of all the children living within their tea estates. We Salute Kailani Valley, Tell A, Wackilee, Bogajan, Thalawa, Harana and Elyptia tea estates. Support Save the children. Sri Lanka tea growers convince the Shri Lankan Government to abandon import restrictions on agrochemicals imposed in May after demonstrating a marked decline in quality in yield plantations. Minister Rummish Patharana said the reversal comes in time to help growers responsible for producing one point three billion in annual exports. At a press conference in Columba last week, he told reporters that imports of chemical fertilizer would continue until the island was able to produce sufficient organic fertilizer for food and cash crops. The announcement follow the arrival of a thirtyzero metric tongue shipment of potasium chloride from...

Lithuania that officials had labeled orgaining to circumvent the van business inside. Two thirds of she a Lanca's farmers support organic agriculture, according to a survey by verite research, but ninety percent currently use agrochemicals and eighty five percent anticipated the overnight switch to organic fertilizers would lower yields by an average forty seven percent. The more than Onezero farmers who participated in the farmers pulse telephone survey this summer said the transition should be gradual and then sharlow can needs a standardize supply of organic alternatives to combat weeds, pests and adequately feed their plants. The Kenyan t development agency last week announced a minimum reserve price of two dollars and forty three cents per kilo for tea auctioned in Mumbassa. The decision will stabilize persistently low prices during the past two years at the likely expensive export market share. India is the primary beneficiary, as Ammonem, director of mcloyd Russell India, told reporters. Quote, due to Kenyon Tea, we faced intense competition in worldwide markets and, quote. He said. We are in a better position to increase exports now that our prices are around two hundred and fifty rupeas for kilo, approximately three dollars and thirty five cents, and ten. In Ta is, around two hundred rupeas for kilo, about two dollars and sixty five cents. Katie said, output decline by fourteen percent to one point two five billion kilos in the twelve months through June, compared to last year's record output. Overall Canyan t exports increased by nineteen percent to two hundred and ninety eight million...

...kilos, but auction prices averaged only a dollar ninety six per kilo. At Mumbassa, which auctions tease from several east African countries. Katida tea prices fell by eight percent during the same period, averaging two dollars and eighteen cents per kilo. Kenya's export earnings during the past seven months fell to seven hundred million. In Two thousand and twenty exports totaled one point two billion for the year. The agency express concerns about over reliance on four export markets that generate seventy percent of sales. In commodity grade. Tea's pledging to produce more orthodox teas that bring a better price business insight. KTDA announced that it is abandoning legal action to prevent enactment of provisions of the two thousand and twenty t act. Last winter, a group of directors at ktda factories filed suit to prevent implementation of sections of the act governing special elections. Fifty five factories, at their annual meetings in November, will vote on a special resolution to withdraw the cases. The resolution is endorsed by Cabinet Secretary Peter Munia. A VPA's fourth annual ties of the world competition awarded a hundred and thirty three medals this week, recognizing teas from thirty three countries. The online ceremony in Paris awarded gastronomic recognition in two categories of tea, with separate juries evaluating Camelius Senensis, monover idle and herbal tea, peas, blends and scented teas. Prizes included ten gourmet or gold medals and twenty five silver and twenty five bronze medals, with an...

...additional seventy three t's receiving an a vpa certificate of distinction. Three goals were awarded in the herbals and blends category and seven golds in the Camellia Sinensis categorys Taiwan shoe Jean Oolong tea and meal Lee won two golds, one for Alpine Spring and the other four. Madam Haakka, the Wang Family in Beijhon, Taiwan earned a gold for its woogie charcoal roasted woolong, and the Te key company in Nantou, Taiwan earned gold for it's donkey on Si Ji Shun. Two teas from Darshling, India, also earned gold medals. Are you a diamond by avs professionals and Le Ja Dainde Gaya earned gold for it's Himalaya's secret SF TG fop one, a Korean green tea grown on his shoe island by wild orchard, also earned gold and the herbals and blends category, pure Camomeo, by law trade t grown in Croatia Shaw was awarded a gold medal, and Le Ja Dan guy one gold for its rose. The the mass te from Iran, and Solution Company from Greece one goal through its cretent mountain tea grown on tofio creed. See a complete list of winners on the tea bars blog. Business inside a VPA rights that, despite the ongoing panic, there were more entries this year and from twice as many countries, including Laos, Madagascar, Peru, Portugal, Togal Croatia and Ecuador. Are Bend and and Thereman in Bengaluru reports on Indians to auction prices. India tea price support for...

...the Week Ending Sixteen October twenty twenty one. This week the focus was on production volumes and exports. Data from the Tea Board indicates a fourteen point four pus and decrease in export of tea between January and July. Two Thousand and twenty one is. Compared to the same period last year, the imports by the CIA's countries, Iran and China have all decrees this year by the UAE and the US remain the only countries showing an increase in import the non availability of shipping containers and the high costs has been cited as one significant reason for this. Meanwhile, media reports indicate that, with Kenya fixing the minimumbers of price of tea at two dollars forty three cents per kilo of process t at the Mambasa Auction, the difference in price between Indian teas, just between three and four dollars, and Kenyon teas, has now narrowed to India's advantage. It is brought to nude interest from West Asia, Russia, Kazakhstan and the US for Indian black teas in auctions this week. North Indian auctions were closed for the Hindu festival of the sea, with a puja being one of the biggest annual celebrations in West Bengal and Assam. The auctions were held as usual. In the south. One thousand three hundred seventeen tons remained unsould but the sole quantity was up by two percent. From the previous week and now or word from our sponsor. Que Trade understands that a successful tea blend goes beyond the creative fusion of appearance, a Roma and flavor. Our Multi Award winning product development team is passionate about converting natural ingredients its sensory experiences that customers crave. Every recipe is formulated with a commercial backbone of dependable quality sourcing, with a pricing structure that supports a safe, regulated, profitable and scalable bland. Que Trade meets every brand's retail, food service and ECOMMERCE need. For more information, visit our website, que trade teascom. This week tebs travels to...

Calcutta, India for an in De Conversation with Aracat, hertage to do rainfalls alliance, India's consulting program coordinator for sustainable landscapes and livelihoods. Harkey, is an expert in mechanical tea harvest. He makes it compelling arguments for improving tea quality using labor hours gained on farms that have vest in these timesaving machines. Mechanical harvesting gets a bad rap. This is because poorly trained operators using poorly maintained equipment damage bushes, lowering yield and leaf quality. The simple routine such as level trimming in a single long sweep in one direction over half the plucking plane produces excellently innovations like creating a seasonal calendar to regulate plucking rounds and paying workers for the area they share instead of by the keilow keep yields high. Smallholders sharing equipment who then used the many hours of labor saved during harvest for field maintenance and to complete agricultural chores like pruning, mulching. In we debatement deliver leaf of exceptional quality to factories. Joining us today on tabs podcast is harkeys to do from Calcutta India. Welcome, my plague of Dan. Let's talk today about harvesting and mechanical harvesting in particular of tea. You're an expert in that category and I thought we begin by just asking why we need harvesters. You know, most geographies where we are harvesting tea, we are running out of workers who will work on farms. As a result, what happens is the tea overgrows, and when the tea overgrows, you're not going to make quality. So we need to make sure that we stay on top of the plucking grounds. Now the fear that people have is that if you bring...

...in mechanical harvesting you're replacing Labor, but that's not what the idea is. Idea is to plug in that gap, the shortage. In some place there will be forty percent, another place they'll be twenty five percent. Whatever the gap is, we are going to plug that gap. That's the whole idea of mechanical harvesting. Without that we cannot manage today. In more you look at Tri Lunka, you look at Indonesia, India, child everywhere, everywhere, you got the issue coming up. Mechanical harvesting is required today because you are not being able to harvest by hand the crop that we need to harvest in time. So to keep on top, we need to introduce mechanical harvesting in addition to the hand plugging. How was harvesting by machine impact the he bushes and processing? See, the difference between a Harvester and hand plucking is that hand plucking, the plucker can selectively leave fish leaf another leave whenever it quiet. Harvester we go non selective at a particular height and the idea is to maintain that, because if, in a mechanical harvester you go up and down, you will have problems with taking stock in that's why we need to make sure that we change the whole way we look at harvesting, because it's non selective. We meet to make sure that we pluck at the predetermined level and that there is no maintenance foliage coming into the harvest. So for that we need to set the table straight. If we don't adjust these techniques, we will lose crop. You see a lot of photographs of people using harvesters and they keep going over the Bush like this, you know, like in a snake formation. Every time you're doing that, there are portions of which you are double cutting. So we don't recommend that, and also it's very...

...difficult to maintain your level. Harvesters are not the same as hand plucky, so we need to adjust our operations to make sure that all the idiosyncrasies of the Harvester are taken care of by our adjusting our operations according could you talk about the Economics Mechanical Harvesters? You don't need discussion on it. It is so simple. There are three basic types of harvesting that we do. One is hand plucking, of course, which we have been doing for ages. Then is the shears. The shears were introduced. They are like scissors and we call them semi mechanical harvesters. So these were introduced. And then the third one is, of course, the mechanical harvesters, which other bigger machines. Some are single man operated, some are double man operated. Now, if you look at the economics, the kilograms plucked per man day by hand plucking might give you thirty kilograms. The sheer harvesting might give you thirty eight or thirty nine kilograms. The Mechanical Harvester will give you hundred and fifty, two hundred, hundred fifteen, two hundred and twenty, a hundred and twenty five kilograms, depending on the field right. So that's the different straight away. So there is a twenty to twenty three percent saving on man days when you're doing sheer harvesting. There is a seventy four to seventy five percent saving on man days when you're doing mechanical harvesting. What is happening is many governments, many organizations are realizing the need of this, but the basic subsidies required for the mechanical harvesters because cause they are much more expensive. Now the question...

...comes on can a small holder afford a Mechanical Harvester, which costs a lot of money, even if he's getting a subsidy? The answer is yes. So what we do is we get two of them to purchase a harvester. Now his requirement of that Harvester might be only a day. He can cover his area. So what are they will charge the rest of the farmers around to do the harvesting for them and charge them per area, whatever area they've got, so the other farmers don't need to employ workers. Their cost comes down and the one who's bought the harvester makes money and recovers his cost. In plantations and in small holders, small holders a little more, but in plantations the return on investment is seven to eight months. That's why we encourage people to go in for mechanical harvesting. The life of the Harvester we considered two years. So after two years they cannabalize the few harvesters to make into a new one and buy a new one. The small holder actually has always an issue with money. As soon as you tell him its cause so much he's Oh my God. So then they go in for cheap harvesters which actually are half the price but create double the damage. Your quality goes down, your crops go down, the life of the harvest is shorter. So you're buying a new one. So we encourage them to follow certain principles on Maintenance and to buy good equipment. PAY FOR IT and it'll pay for itself. Quality is often then question when the use of mechanical harvesters is involved. Will you talked to us about why quality does not suffer when one uses a mechanical...

...harvesting Shangy? The quality actually improves. I'll tell you why. One is you are getting good leafer. You can get very fine leaf. You decide on the target of your leaf most of the time in hand plucking by before the leaf is becoming longer because you've gon't harvest on time. So everything is based on the target shoot. You know, I might say that in second flush in a Sam you can do it in ten days or nine days. October. There but three places different. We tell them you take your target shoot as you are reaching the target Shu harvest when it reaches again, harvest and keep recording the time. This becomes your calendar for next year. So once you've done it for a year you got a very clear calendar that I'm going to be nine days here, ten days here, twelve days at this time and thirteen days round of the season. Right. So it's so much easier. The harveishterer bys you over labor time and by shoes. Are Labor time back to in Welsh. Seven three water, seventy five percent saving on label. When you are calculating the gap, you include in this gap all other cultural practices that you should be doing during that period. Otherwise, what he does is everyone is on harvesting. No other job is being done. If you do mechanical harvesting, by just putting a harvester in place to remove the leaf which is on top of a Bush, your quality will suffer. You have to alter many things, like I talked about. You needire extra harvesting, making sure that you're not taking any maintenance foliage in your harvest. Keeping the level not going on to kilograph per harvest per man. Now the...

...biggest problem is they put the machine in and they're paying that man per kilogram, so he takes it a little deep because it's the total cage's so then the leaf doesn't come back for another three weeks because he's done a lie its gift. So you know it's the chaos. So in three months time the man's machine goes back into the go down broken because he hasn't taught maintenance. So adjustment of blades, biling of breaths, how often do you do it? If you don't do that, they overheat. When they overheat they damage your Bush and the stock left behind. If you overcome these which I just reading, which is trying to understand what this machine is capable of doing and how you can alter your operations based on this machine, it'll give you quality, fantastic quality. Intrigued by what you heard in today's podcast, would you like to learn more from our global network of TB is journalists and t experts? Remember to visit the TBE is website for more comprehensive coverage. That's Wawwt Biz bizcom. Thanks for listening. Farewell, till next week.

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