The Telegraph
Saturday , February 23 , 2013
Since 1st March, 1999
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Goodricke’s packet priority

Calcutta, Feb. 22: Goodricke Group has stirred up robust plans to expand in branded packet tea. The company is also looking to spend around Rs 600 crore to acquire gardens in Assam, which will add 5 million kg to its annual production.

“In the branded tea segment, we have achieved robust growth, growing 10 per cent year-on-year for the last 2-3 years. We want to add another 10 per cent in 2013. We are getting into the packet tea segment in a big way and have planned big branding exercises,” said Arun N. Singh, managing director of Goodricke Group Ltd.

According to Singh, branded packet tea contributes one-third of the group’s turnover of Rs 540 crore.

“If we can carve out even a 5 per cent market share, it will be huge,” Singh said.

Goodricke today launched Rainforest Alliance certified tea packs. Rainforest Alliance is a New York-based NGO involved in conserving biodiversity by transforming land use ways, business practices and consumer behaviour. It is in talks with the Tea Board to carry out a project to restore soil health in Darjeeling.

Sales of Goodricke’s packet tea are expected to rise to 10 million kg by 2014-15 from 8 million kg in 2012. The company has a 2 per cent market share in the segment. The domestic market for packet tea is 400 million kg.

On garden acquisitions, Singh said talks were on for buyouts in Assam. Goodricke has 12 gardens in the Dooars, 2 in Assam and 3 in Darjeeling.

“Dooars will continue to struggle. We produce 15 million kg there. It had a setback as prices did not move up,” he said.

Goodricke will invest in two tea lounges in Gurgaon and New Delhi this year and is looking for space in Calcutta.