Goodricke Plans to Buy Tea Gardens in Assam
Kolkata: Goodricke Group plans to spend .₹ 40 crore to acquire tea estates in Assam that can produce a million kg of tea annually.
“Prices of tea have dropped as the availability is more in the market. This is the right time to acquire gardens in Assam as prices of tea estates will not be too high,” said Arun Narain Singh, managing director at the West Bengalbased tea producer. Good quality Assam tea is being sold at .₹ 145 per kg, down from .₹ 175 a year ago. “Our management team is currently scouting for gardens. Funding the acquisition will not be an issue as banks are ready to finance us,” Singh told ET. “We are only keen to expand our production in Assam as the teas from this region are of premium quality and buyers, both in India and abroad, are keen to buy these teas,” he said.
Goodricke has two tea estates in Assam — Orangajuli and Nonaipara. It also has three estates in Darjeeling and 12 in Dooars. The company is also looking at 25% growth in its packet tea production to reach 10 million kg by 2017-18, up from around 8 million kg in 2016.
“At present, we are looking to spend in excess of .₹ 10 crore in packet tea in the current year mainly on marketing. A number of campaigns are lined up this year, “Singh said. The company is also setting up a tea packaging unit in Rajpura in Punjab to beef up presence of its packet teas in the country.