Goodricke Plans to Buy Tea Gar­dens in As­sam

The Economic Times - - Companies: Pursuit Of Profit - Su­tanuka.Ghosal@ times­group.com

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.

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