Calcutta, Sept. 3: Spooked by a drop in exports, the Union commerce ministry has chalked out a joint marketing strategy with Russia to promote Indian tea in that country.
The decision was taken by additional commerce secretary L. V. Saptarishi at a meeting with Tea Board chairman . K. Das in Delhi last Friday.
JFK International, J. V. Gokul and Beeyu Overseas had asked the board to work out a joint brand promotion with Russia. “We are targeting Russia, which is now consuming more of orthodox tea,” Das said on the sidelines of the Indian Tea Association’s annual general meeting.
The Tea Board’s move to promote Indian tea in Russia through a campaign called ‘World’s Gold Standards’ had failed to evoke good response from Russia.
Das said, “To penetrate the Russian market, which once bought almost 50 per cent of the tea exported by India, we should produce more orthodox tea.” Russia is now buying more tea from Sri Lanka than from India.
“To encourage exporters, a proposal for reimbursement of additional excise duty at the rate of Rs 1 per kg in the form of incentive is being considered,” Das said. On exports to Iraq, he said, “We have suffered a lot because supplies to Iraq were grounded. I am told that letters of credit for export of about 5-7 million kgs of tea to Iraq were received last month against old orders.”