Private small-scale tea factories, popularly called bought leaf factories, in the Nilgiris will resume operations on Wednesday.
L Vairavan, Secretary, The Nilgiri Bought Leaf Tea Manufacturers’ Association, said, “We have advised our member factories to work with only 50 per cent of their workforce and for just one shift with minimum working time.”
The small growers are getting ready to harvest the green leaf in their tea gardens. “Most tea bushes are overgrown as the growers have not maintained the required plucking rounds,” said Ramesh Chander, President, The Nilgiris Small Tea Growers’ Association.
“We have advised our members to pluck and discard such unusable tea leaves and to sort out their harvest to segregate the quality leaves for supplying to the factories”, he said.
“We have asked growers to work only up to 2 pm and maintain social distancing in their fields besides using sanitizers regularly”, he pointed out.
However, the Coonoor Tea Trade Association has not begun functioning till Tuesday. Its normal functioning is necessary for bought leaf factories to auction their teas. Warehouses have also not started functioning.
“As of now, we have decided to begin manufacture to help the small growers who are without income since the lockdown began commenced. Until the auction and inter-State transportation become normal, we have to stock our newly manufactured teas in our factories,” Vairavan said.