Enhancing Tea Quality in 2024: FSSAI’s Initiative for Safe Tea Cultivation


FSSAI’s Proactive Approach to Assuring Tea Quality in Assam

In a crucial step towards improving tea quality, Shri G. Kamala Vardhana Rao, the CEO of the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI), led an interactive session with tea growers and planters in Kellyden, Assam, on January 19, 2024. This gathering, aimed at enhancing tea quality and safety, brought together various stakeholders, including FSSAI and Tea Board officials, tea planters, processors, and industry experts.

Focusing on safe practices in Tea Cultivation

The main focus of the discussion revolved around testing raw materials in tea production. A key point was the need for rigorous screening of each batch for pesticide residues, ensuring compliance with Maximum Residue Limits (MRL) as outlined in the Food Safety and Standards Regulations of 2011 (FSSR). Shri Rao highlighted the critical role of bio-pesticides and the importance of collaborative efforts with the Tea Board for inspections and testing.

Addressing Concerns and Proposing Solutions: FSSAI

Tea planters voiced concerns about the use of unauthorised pesticides, urging a ban on such substances. Processors suggested implementing rapid testing kits at farm gates for easier pesticide testing. The session also saw in-depth discussions on specific pesticides, monitoring procedures, and the prevention of off-label use, underscoring a shared commitment to safe tea cultivation in Assam.

Financial Assistance and Awareness Campaigns

FSSAI is extending financial support to Assam for upgrading pesticide testing laboratories, reflecting its commitment to safe tea cultivation. Awareness campaigns are being planned to educate planters on safe agricultural practices, including maintaining appropriate harvesting gaps.

Collaboration and Action Plans to enhance Tea quality

The event underscored the necessity of regular interaction among stakeholders and the development of a time-bound action plan. This strategy aims to ensure the availability of safe and quality tea for consumers. The meeting also served as a platform for exchanging insights and promoting sustainable and quality-driven tea production.

Key Speakers and Collective Efforts

Prominent figures such as Shri Amardeep Singh Bhatia, IAS, and Shri Saurav Pahari, IAS, from the Tea Board, along with Ms. Inoshi Sharma from FSSAI, contributed to the event. The participation of senior officials and industry representatives highlighted the collective effort towards safe tea cultivation in Assam and enhanced tea quality.

Conclusion: Towards a Future of Safe and Quality Tea Production by FSSAI

The collaborative efforts demonstrated in this session are pivotal in steering Assam’s tea industry towards safer, more sustainable practices. This initiative by FSSAI and the collective action of all stakeholders play a crucial role in ensuring that the tea quality produced in Assam meets the highest standards of quality and safety, solidifying India’s reputation as a leading tea producer.

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