Sinlung /
02 April 2013

Tatas Ties Up With Cardamom Growers; Looks To Northeast For Turmeric

New Delhi, Apr 2 : Tata Global Beverages today announced a partnership with cardamom growers from South India to market the latter's produce, the first time the Tata group firm has undertaken such an initiative.

The firm also said it planned to expand such partnerships and will work with turmeric growers from North East India.

"There is a great deal of difference in prices that consumers pay and what go to farmers. There is a need to stabilise the prices. Through our expertise in marketing and distribution, cardamom growers will get immense benefit," company's Vice Chairman R K Krishna Kumar told reporters here.

The company today announced a packaging, marketing and distribution tie up with South Indian Green Cardamom Company (SIGCC), which launched a new brand 'Spice Mist' for selling cardamom and black pepper.

"We have entered into an MoU with SIGCC. Under the agreement, they pay us a marketing fee for packaging, logistics and warehouses to sell their products. This initiative is not for profit purpose, but it is an endeavour of the Tata group to give back to the society," Krishna Kumar said.

Tata Global Beverages Managing Director and CEO Harish Bhat claimed this is the first time in India that any whole spice is being sold under a "proper brand".

"This is also for first time that any Tata group firm is experimenting with spices. We will test market the brand in Delhi, Chandigarh, Hyderabad and Madurai, and depending upon customers' response, we will launch it nationally," he added.

Asked about expanding the spice portfolio, Kumar said the company is looking at other products like turmeric.

"North-east is very large and high quality turmeric comes out from that region. We are looking at this product," he said.

He said the launch of branded turmeric by the Tatas will take some time and it may happen next year.

SIGCC is a company of spice growers, mainly for cardamom, and comprises about 1,500 shareholders, who are also the planters having 1-50 acres of individual land parcels.

SIGCC Executive Director G Vinayaga Moorthy said with better sale prices and higher realisation, the company will take part in auction of spices of other growers as well.

SIGCC Director Sam Mathew Kalarickal said growers have approached the Indian government to safeguard domestic cardamom producers from possible cheap imports of the spice from Guatemala in the American continent.

"We have requested the government to incentivise domestic production or put higher import duty. The cost of production of Indian cardamom is higher than Guatemala, so we will not be able to match them on price," he said, adding import from the nation is likely to start very soon.

Tata Global Beverages is an integrated beverage business unit of the Tata Group. Its brands include Tata Tea, Tetley, among others.


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