A Look Into Trends In Indian Tea Post COVID-19
The COVID-19 pandemic has had an impactful effect on all segments of the tea industry; some more severely than others. Yet consumers have continued to demand nutritious products even during this difficult period.
Living conditions of APPL workers in India's northeast are one of the primary contributors to their susceptibility to disease; yet there remains hope for improved working conditions on plantations farms.
Tea has long been a labour-intensive product, making it an obvious target for the COVID-19 pandemic. Unfortunately, its effect can be difficult to assess; for instance, some regions saw production decrease substantially while others experienced an upsurge in output.
Tea growers were hit hard, often giving up livelihoods to protect their crops. Wages and benefits for workers were reduced nearly 50 percent during this crisis. Its lasting consequences serve as a stark reminder that sustainability in this industry relies on ethical business practices.
Tea companies must ensure they support local farmers and producers during tough times, whether this means working with Fair Trade organizations or directly establishing direct-trade relationships. It also means making sure all ingredients used in tea production come from ethical sources - an essential step toward creating businesses that are sustainable enough to withstand future challenges.
One of the largest problems facing the tea industry today is low prices for tea. Although average auction prices have seen some improvement from their low point in 2015 to over 12 Rs/kg now, this still doesn't provide producers with sufficient income; especially smallholder growers are struggling to cover costs like inputs, wages and fuel.
This situation is further compounded by the fact that most profits from tea sales are realized downstream by tea brands, which make significant mark-ups and returns from intangible assets such as brand name registration. Consumers may question if their chosen brands are committed to the long-term economic sustainability of the tea industry.
There are various strategies for increasing the sustainability of the tea industry, such as lowering greenhouse gas emissions and supporting local economies. Finding creative and innovative ways of dealing with post-production waste - rather than burning it or disposing of it in landfills, tea developers are turning post-production scrap into useful products such as low-cost adsorbents - is also crucial for increasing efficiency of development while decreasing environmental footprint.
2. Health Benefits
Tea can help people lose weight, lower cholesterol levels and decrease heart disease risks. Furthermore, it provides many essential vitamins and antioxidants - though excessive tea consumption may lead to dehydration, bloating, anxiety and sleep issues; for optimal results it should only be consumed occasionally. To maximize its health benefits and reap all its advantages it's essential that only limited amounts are consumed at one time.
Indian tea remains in high demand despite the pandemic of coronavirus; market projections predict its expansion due to increasing disposable incomes, tea consumption growth and awareness about its health benefits. Furthermore, green tea's rising popularity in India has furthered market expansion.
As such, major companies are focused on expanding their distribution networks and product offerings in order to expand market share, taking advantage of rising Indian tea demand. This report provides a thorough overview of this market including its volume, value, dynamics, segmentation characteristics consumption prices import export supply along with key industry players to understand their strengths and weaknesses.
WMStrategy research methodology incorporates both qualitative and quantitative data gathered through expert interviews. More than 10 interviews were held to gather insights from various market participants such as producers, distributors, retailers, suppliers and others in order to get a holistic overview of this industry. Data is then compiled and analyzed to produce accurate insight about it.
The coronavirus pandemic has had serious repercussions across Asia's tea producing nations, with certain regions suffering more serious damage than others. Typhoon Amphan caused extensive damage to North Indian tea crops, further decreasing availability in domestic markets and auction houses/ports. Travel restrictions also hinder the transportation of these teas for auction or port purposes, further slowing their availability. Lack of inventory could wreak havoc with global markets in 2021. However, normal life and vaccination programs could help revive global sales; tea sales might resume depending on local demand strength.
Tea production and cultivation employs over 80 million workers globally, so COVID-19 had an impactful ripple-through on all those involved - although certain areas may have felt its fuller force than others.
Tea plantations have long been known for exploiting their workers, with one Assam tea estate documented by the BBC for having appalling living conditions and abuse towards its staff. Workers weren't paid living wages and didn't always have access to clean drinking water or sanitation facilities - social distancing norms which help protect against transmission of infectious diseases often weren't adhered to when living in cramped quarters with limited space for distancing - leading to open defecation being commonplace there.
Workers are highly vulnerable to COVID-19 infection. Therefore, governments must play an active role in making sure companies prioritize employee welfare during this period of economic turmoil. Government should set in motion stimulus packages designed to ensure workers can earn a living wage during lockdown periods; transfer payments of past non-work days; provision of PPE kits; clean water; soap; as well as an unconditional, guaranteed ration of tea garden workers as measures against infection.
With such a vulnerable population, tea producers must implement hygienic practices within their factories and tea stalls in order to stay infection-free. Therefore, Ethical Tea Partnership and IDH have initiated field-level response initiatives which provide workers with WASH materials as well as hygiene practices including social distancing training. They also facilitate subsidized transport to healthcare services as well as awareness calls.
Nilgiri in southern India, also known as "Blue Mountain," is famed for producing frost teas with unique, frost-taste. These are produced during January-February's first flushes and have become increasingly popular due to their distinctive taste. Munnar in Kerala's state of Kerala produces tea with fruity and delicate aromas; its high altitudes allow tea bushes with smaller buds and leaves to flourish there as well.
Tea production is a labor-intensive industry dominated by women. Therefore, they are particularly vulnerable during pandemics like COVID-19 as many cannot follow basic health regulations like wearing masks and handwashing frequently enough. Furthermore, they work in isolated conditions with poor quality food and water as well as cramped housing quarters - which means their daily income falls far below poverty line.
Though some workers have taken notice of warnings to wear masks and practice social distance, many remain reticent to do so out of fear that doing so would mean their wages disappearing and lack access to reliable medical services (they live far from any health centres). Furthermore, with families to care for and income losses due to having been forced out of work during testing for Covid-19 being an additional barrier.
These factors have made it hard for the tea industry to maintain production levels despite Pakistan's ban on exports, leading to sales to plummet significantly across the country - particularly at railway stations, bus depots and cafeterias - with domestic consumption also declining significantly but less so than exports.
Munnar teas have seen an explosion in popularity recently, due to their distinct fruitiness that distinguishes them from hearty Assams and robust Darjeelings. Munnar tea is an iconic Indian beverage and will surely gain more worldwide fame over time. Boasting smooth fruity flavor with numerous health benefits, Munnar Breakfast is an absolute must-try. Find it at your local coffee shop or online, brew according to Munnar Tea Shop, and savor its natural aromas while sipping in its unique Indian flavors!