When Did Darjeeling Tea Get GI Tag?

What is Geographical Indication Tag?

GI tag stands for Geographical Indication tag. It is an identification of a product (typically agricultural) from a particular geographical location. This tag ensures that only goods produced in that region are identified as such. The tag also ensures that the quality and reputation of the product are maintained. Some examples are Kashmir Saffron, Manipuri Black Rice, Basmati, Rasagola, Mysore silk, Nagpur Orange, Darjeeling Tea, etc.

Benefits of registration of Geographical Indication:

  • It prevents the unauthorized use of registered geographical indications by others and also protects consumers from being misled as to the true origin or quality of a product.
  • It is a legal measure that protects the names of goods and services that have a specific geographical origin or association with a place. It confers legal protection to geographical indications in India.
  • Indian products are able to reach new markets and boost their exports
  • It enables seeking legal protection in other WTO member countries for violations of intellectual property rights and provides legal remedies against such violations.

Why does Darjeeling Tea need to register for GI Tag?

The Darjeeling tea plant was originally named “Camellia Sinensis”.  It usually takes growers 1 to 6 years to mature and can live up to 100 years with proper care. It is able to withstand severe winters, extended droughts, and the high altitudes of the region.

The region has a cool and moist climate with frequent rains and mist, which is ideal for the growth of tea plants. The combination of high elevation, cool temperatures, and high rainfall results in a delicate and complex flavour. The tea also has a unique aroma that is due to the combination of specific plant genes and soil chemistry in the Darjeeling region.

Darjeeling Tea is produced according to its traditional “Orthodox” method of processing. The plucking of tea requires a great deal of skill and patience. In order to ensure high-quality tea, the leaves must be plucked in the right stage of growth and only two leaves and a bud are allowed for each stem. This means that each tea bush must be carefully monitored and plucked several times a year. The plucking season usually lasts from March to late November, cold winter months of December to February are a period of abeyance. The production of a product requires a great deal of human effort. This, in turn, leads to the production of tea with distinctive organoleptic characteristics. These characteristics are further nurtured by the production regulations imposed by the Board, which ensure that the tea grown in the region meets stringent quality standards. The distinctiveness of Darjeeling tea is widely recognized and has earned the patronage of consumers all over the world. And it is not possible to replicate the exact flavor and characteristics of a particular tea from a certain region elsewhere.

The Tea Board of India has taken the initiative in order to protect the traditional knowledge of the tea industry in Darjeeling which is associated with the production of tea and to prevent the adulteration of Darjeeling tea with other inferior quality teas

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When did Darjeeling get Gi tag?

Darjeeling, the picturesque hill station in West Bengal, India, was conferred with the Geographical Indication (GI) tag in the month of September 2003. Apparently, the Tea Board of India applied for the GI tag in 2002 but the process was delayed due to political issues and the GI tag was finally conferred in 2003. The Tea Board of India has also taken steps to promote the tea industry of Darjeeling and has been working to ensure that Darjeeling tea is given the recognition it deserves. This tag was given to it for its unique tea production. Darjeeling Tea is among the only few teas in the world to be given the GI tag for its uniqueness and is also among the world’s most expensive tea.

The GI tag has helped to increase the reputation of Darjeeling tea and it has helped to promote the Tea in the international market and also ensure that the Tea is real and unblended and served pure. It is not allowed to mix a single gram of Tea from any other region in the world with any Darjeeling Tea and still call it Darjeeling Tea. Nevertheless, you can make your own custom blends from Teas from other origins and mix them with Darjeeling Tea as well, but it can’t be called Darjeeling Tea because it’s not the same tea.

Benefits Enjoyed By Darjeeling After Registration of Gi Tag:

  • Darjeeling tea has gained global recognition and has contributed to the promotion of the region’s culture and heritage. The price of the tea has increased as it is the only Darjeeling tea in the world that is regarded as the real deal.
  • There has also been a positive impact of the GI tag on employment opportunities in the region since more individuals have now been employed in tea gardens and tea processing units.
  • It has helped to protect the region’s environment and has also helped to promote sustainable farming practices as well as helping to protect the environment in the region.
  • The GI tag has also helped to raise awareness about the taste and aroma of Darjeeling tea among consumers as well as helping to promote the sustainable production of tea in Darjeeling as well.
  • As a result of the GI tag, the region has also become a source of tourism since tourists from all over the world travel to the region in order to visit the tea gardens and take advantage of its unique flavor.

 

List of Gardens With GI Tags:

MIRIK

Area in Ha Average crop of last 3 years
1 Gayabari & Milikthong 309.51 188165
2 Gopaldhara 169.24 69646
3 Okayti 250.32 157891
4 Phuguri 227.00 93640
5 Seeyok 157.52 50474
6 Singbuli 491.42 167316
7 Soureni 95.55 51481
8 Thurbo 488.44 210009

 Total

2189.00 988624

KURSEONG (NORTH)

Area in Ha Average crop of last 3 years
1 Monteviot 59.98 13348
2 Ambootia (Disturbed) 343.46 72967
3 Castleton 316.81 110221
4 Makaibari 248.18 73810
5 Singell 282.57 111085
6 Margaret’s Hope 586.16 182567
7 Longview(Disturbed) 506.20 15279
8 Rohini 142.00 92165

Total

2485.36 671442

KURSEONG (SOUTH)

Area in Ha Average crop of last 3 years
1 Giddapahar 94.67 32288
2 Goomtee 231.00 71655
3 Jungpana Mld’ram 139.56 53816
4 Mullotar 172.69 60768
5 Sivitar 140.92 46404
6 Nurbong 270.00 83802
7 Selim Hills 176.51 75953
8 Sepoydhura 138.86 46142
9 Tindharia 153.70 63580

 Total

1517.91 534409

DARJEELING (EAST)

Area in Ha Average crop of last 3 years
1 Arya 116.00 32322
2 Chongtong 373.81 81228
3 Lingia 141.63 64521
4 Mim 187.00 77875
5 Orange valley 189.49 90876
6 Pussimbing 201.00 65800
7 Rangaroon 89.93 16071
8 Risheehut 256.48 131394
9 Tumsong 113.87 51176
10 Marybong 284.52 102525
11 Poobong 168.00 62017
12 Balasun 181.04 111000
13 Moondakottee 298.78 62257
14 Oaks 139.00 73971
15 Rungmookh Ceder 460.00 100747
16 Ringtong 338.00 109068

 Total

3538.55 1232848

DARJEELING (WEST)

Area in Ha Average crop of last 3 years
1 Badamtam 321.05 123855
2 Bannockburn 136.53 47619
3 Ging 254.11 95971
4 Pandam 131.00 20774
5 Phoobsering 235.77 68767
6 Kanchanview 90.21 2831
7 Barnesbeg 132.00 48382
8 Happy valley & Allo 145.16 17566
9 Singtom 263.00 60884
10 Soom 237.30 111864
11 Shree Dwarika 184.84 77777
12 Puttabong (Tukvar) 2130.97 156647

 Total

4261.94 832936

RUNGBONG VALLEY

Area in Ha Average crop of last 3 years
1 Avongrove 184.00 57703
2 Chamong 155.00 66133
3 Dhajea 179.35 79555
4 Nagri 321.64 88256
5 Nagri Farm 285.66 93907
6 Selimbong 153.35 37299
7 Sungma 272.75 97600

Total

1551.75 520454

TEESTA  VALLEY

Area in Ha Average crop of last 3 years
1 Gielle 250.00 152134
2 Glenburn 285.49 121889
3 Lopchu 95.75 49589
4 Namring 450.00 245058
5 Tukdah 261.71 117865
6 Teesta valley 297.47 198723

Total

1640.42 885259

KALIMPONG

Area in Ha Average crop of last 3 years
1 Samabeyong 132.45 38963
2 Upper Fagu 130.75 151006
3 Mission Hills 244.16 162522
4 Ambiok 155.98 180342
5 Kumai (Snow view) 283 193399

Total

946.34 726231
     

Total Area in Ha=

18131.27 6392202

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