Visit of The Chairman of NABARD

Event Date : 12/02/2021-13/02/2021

Indcoserve is equipped for and embracing the future thanks to the support of the Government of Tamil Nadu and National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD). We have embarked on a massive expansion and upgradation exercise to introduce state-of-the-art technology at every level of our value chain, to place small tea growers at par with growers in the private-sector. We are in the process of modernizing 5 of the 16 Indco Tea Factories in phase one at a cost of Rs.18.36crores, granted under the Rural Infrastructural Development Fund (RIDF) program of NABARD.

During his visit, Dr. G.R. Chintala detailed the vision of NABARD to promote sustainable and equitable agriculture and rural development through participative financial and non-financial interventions, innovations, technology and institutional development for securing prosperity and spoke of the importance of initiatives such as these in furthering the goals of NABARD as embodied since its inception in 1982. He inaugurated the Kattabettu Eco-restoration Project, Indco’s Smart Tea Leaf Centre (STLC) at Nanjanad and launched two new mobile applications over the course of his visit.

Renovation of Kattabettu Tea Factory

Event Date : 12/02/2021

The Indco Tea Factory at Kattabettu was reopened with renovations featuring a tea-tasting centre-cum-conference room and a tea-cum-snacks kiosk; Indco’s Tea House. The factory is now set to manufacture only the highest quality, speciality teas. Indcoserve is also pioneering a holistic approach to sustainable tea cultivation, incorporating an understanding of the implications of cultivation and production on the natural landscape and ecology of the rich and fragile Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve. This goal engenders incentivising organic farming for our growers, and resuscitating the landscapes around our infrastructural developments such as factories.

The renovations therefore also include an eco-restoration zone in a wetland area on the premises of the factory. At Kattabettu, approximately 1 acre has been restored through removal of invasive species, planting natives, restoring a waterbody and the construction of an Information Centre to disseminate information regarding sustainable land-use and restoration. This project along with the information centre to raise awareness among youth, floating and local populations in the district was inaugurated during Dr. G.R. Chintala’s visit.

Launch of Mobile Applications

Event Date : 12/02/2021

Indcoserve launched two mobile applications in February which are the latest milestones in our rigorous endeavour to modernise and make Indco’s value chain transparent. On the occasion of the Chairman of NABARD, Dr.G.R. Chintala’s visit, the OotyTea App for Indco-PDS retailers and the Indco@Tea App for member-growers were launched at the head-office in Coonoor in the presence of the MLA, and Ms. Innocent Divya, Collector, Nilgiris. The speakers at the occasion of the launch all emphasised The functions of the apps as instruments of transparency, and democratic access to information. The apps are Indco’s effort to bridge the rapidly evolving technologies revolutionising agriculture-based industries such as ours with the continued loyalty of the 30,000 member-growers we support. They further strengthen the focus on procurement of good quality leaf which has been critical to Indco’s effort to establish ourselves as a premium brand selling the best quality Nilgiri tea.

Inauguration of Smart Tea Leaf Centre

Event Date : 12/02/2021

The inauguration of the Smart Tea Leaf Collection Centre at Nanjanad on the 12th of February, 2021 marked an important stride in Indcoserve’s mission towards improving ease-of-access in procurement from its farmers. The STLC is designed as a common point of collection for farmers to sort good quality leaves, pack and weigh them. STLCs improve the efficiency of procurement as they link farmers to the Centralized Management Information System (CMIS) and disseminate information regarding collection times, which will enable farmers to minimise wastage and improve their income. The inauguration also featured a demonstration of the Smart Tea Leaf Quality Machine by its developers.

Leaf Supervisor Training Workshop

Event Date : 02/03/2021

Early in March, 2021, we organized a Training and Capacity Building Workshop for our Tea Leaf Supervisors who are the foot soldiers of Indcoserve and a link between the organization and its small tea-grower members. A Master Class / Workshop was organized on improving quality standards in Tea Cultivation and manufacturing. The meeting was attended by about 180 Tea Leaf Supervisors attached to 16 Indco Tea Factories of INDCOSERVE facilitating the 30,000 member-growers.

We have embarked on an ambitious quality certification drive for our tea factories through TrusTea and Fair Trade Certification process and audit to establish a gold standard in quality tea manufacturing. This is possible only through Intensive Implementation of quality standards with respect to Food Safety, Organic Cultivation, better management of Cropping Practices, better environmental management onsite and quality tea manufacturing practices at all times.

A host of sessions were conducted with different speakers including the Dt.Collector Ms.J.Innocent Divya, Mr. M. Balaji, I.A.S., Executive Director, Tea Board, Mr. Ranjith Kumar of FairTrade International and others, who elaborated on the certifications that Indcoserve is pursuing, viz. TrusTea and FairTrade Certification. The significance of these, the advantages offered by them in the global export markets, their value in future-proofing our district which is heavily reliant on tea-production, the necessity of sustainable farming, were all outlined in these sessions.
This two-day workshop was impactful and reinforced the efforts on-ground among our member-growers to pursue these certifications which will have many long-term benefits.

Tea Conclave, 2019