|A perfume and body lotion, made from tea flowers, on display at the Lochan Tea Limited office in Siliguri; and (above) a tea flower which is used to make the products. Telegraph pictures
Siliguri, May 24: A Siliguri-based company has decided to set up a factory to produce an array of products from tea flowers, ranging from perfume to chewing gum.
Lochan Tea Limited, a prominent exporter of Darjeeling tea, will set up the unit in collaboration with Tea Blossom, a Beijing firm which has developed a technology to use tea flower and its constituents like pollen to manufacture different products.
It is entirely a new concept for us. In India, tea flowers are simply wasted. The flowers bloom, die and eventually mix with the soil to become manure for tea bushes, Rajeev Lochan of Lochan Tea said today. We had never thought that such diversified products could be made out of tea flowers. The company from China has made it possible.
Lochan said the project was in its initial stage.
Our company has held talks with the Chinese people. They are interested in sharing the technology with us. We have applied for a plot at the north Bengal tea park in New Jalpaiguri where the factory will come up. We are in the process of designing the unit. It wont be a large project, but will be the first of its kind in India in all probability, he said.
The tea park was set up by the Siliguri Jalpaiguri Development Authority on a railway plot.
Lochan said Tea Blossom manufactured perfume, body and face lotions, chewing gums, biscuits and rejuvenating capsules with tea flowers.
Once we are allotted the land, representatives of Tea Blossom will be invited here. They will hold interactions with players of the Indian tea industry and explain how the products made from tea flower are gaining popularity in different countries, said Lochan.
He added that the Chinese company had agreed to buy the products manufactured by the Lochan group and merchandise them overseas under the Tea Blossom brand.
The China Tea Marketing Association and the Chinese government are providing all possible back up to our company, said Lochan.
The tea exporter, who will attend four international events, including the World Trade Expo scheduled to be held at Las Vegas next month, said he had also invited representatives of Wu-Yu-Tai, another tea company in Beijing, to Siliguri to check the Lochan products.
Wu-Yu-Tai sells high quality tea, including Darjeeling tea, across the world. Their future plans are to set up dedicated tea food restaurants, another new concept for the tea industry here, Lochan said.