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Tocklai Tea Research Institute to bring the world’s first R&D-led sustainability code

Tocklai has been the leading R&D organisation globally in the field of tea research and engineering since 1911. Through its wide range of R&D activities over 112 years, TRA Tocklai has actually made tea plantations economically viable in North India and has made significant contributions by developing more than 200 tea cultivars, suitable agro-techniques and location-specific packages of practises for nutrition, crop protection, tea processing, and sustainable tea plantation and production methodology.

TRA Tocklai invented the CTC tea and Rotorvane machines, which revolutionized tea production and consumption in the world.

So, to be in constant need of research support and continuous innovations to bring about transformational change in the Indian tea industry, TRA is integrating its Good Agricultural Practices and Good Manufacturing Practices into the form of the TRA-TOCKLAI GAP-GMP Standard, aligned with the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals.

The Standard supports strategies which will contribute to improving overall farm practices, management systems and sustainability performance. The idea of having a homegrown sustainability certification was mooted by Joydeep Phukan, Secretary TRA, to the Council of Management of TRA on June 29th, 2022, which was unanimously accepted.

The TRA-TOCKLAI GAP-GMP Standard, which will start on January 1st, 2023, recognises the challenges faced by the tea industry due to climate change and prescribes climate-resilient practises to adapt and mitigate climate change impacts, improving the resilience of the industry.

The recommended practises on maintaining healthy soils, conserving water and energy resources, avoiding deforestation, encouraging afforestation programmes, planting climate-smart planting material, protecting natural ecosystems and biodiversity, reducing GHG emissions, etc. would significantly contribute towards a climate-resilient tea industry.

TRA Tocklai believes that adoption of the best practices indicated in the standard would contribute towards a people and planet positive tea industry by 2030 with continuous improvements. The TRA-TOCKLAI GAP-GMP Standard is being supported by the Tea Board of India.

It was launched at the 58th Annual General Meeting of the Tea Research Association on September 28th, Kolkata by Saurav Pahari, Chairman, Tea Board of India, in the midst of all industry stakeholders.

The new standard for the Indian tea industry, which is based on the practical recommendations of the 112-year-old R&D body, will go a long way towards ensuring the sustainability of the Indian tea industry.

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