What’s the best model for Darjeeling?

21 April 2023
previous arrow
next arrow

Owners are complaining, workers are grumbling, buyers are gradually turning away because of repeated price hikes, and fake Darjeelings are flooding the market. If you love Darjeeling and its people, you can’t just stand by and watch.So what can be done? What bright future can we imagine for this town that likes to call itself the “Queen of the Hills”, for this prestigious tea that makes the dubious claim of being the “champagne of teas”?If we want the workers to stay on the plantations, they must be happy, otherwise their children will leave. So they need to be treated better, and their pay is one of the factors to consider. Looking to the future, the plantation owners need to be prepared to invest. This is happening less and less at the moment because the type of owner has changed, and many are looking for a quick return on investment rather than taking a long-term view. Lastly, we can’t accept that Darjeeling tea is being blended with other teas to reduce its cost price, or that the buyer is always the variable in the equation who has to adapt.
One solution could be fewer but better trained and better paid workers, and more mechanisation, providing it doesn’t affect quality, especially in the peak season. Another possible solution would be for the plantations to buy the leaves from the farmers, who would be given back the land. The farmers would be responsible for all harvesting activities and would negotiate the price of their freshly picked tea leaves with one of the factories. The plantations would concentrate on processing and marketing the leaves. If you’re as devoted to the Land of Thunder (dorje ling) as I am, if you dream of a bright future, these are possible solutions. Surely there are others.

You like this post?

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Similar articles

The teas of Kerala

22 February 2019

The tea-producing regions of Southern India are mainly located in Tamil Nadu (around Ooty and Coonoor) and Kerala (Munnar and Wayanad). Although the teas from these areas are not known…

Share on Facebook. Tweet this!

In the Soviet era

23 September 2021

In Georgia, the soviets left behind residential buildings that look as if they were built in the middle of nowhere. In the days when tea was an intensive industry, these…

Share on Facebook. Tweet this!

Lotus tea: a Vietnamese tradition

5 July 2019

The lotus flower plays a very important role in Vietnamese culture. So it’s not surprising that the country has a tradition of flavouring tea with the flower, resulting in a…

Share on Facebook. Tweet this!

Georgia encourages small producers

10 September 2021

During the Soviet era, Georgia produced a lot of tea for the whole of the USSR. But when it gained independence and the troops withdrew, there was nothing left of…

Share on Facebook. Tweet this!