1) The unpredictability of the political climate in Darjeeling:
In 2017, Darjeeling experienced a politically influenced strike that lasted 104 days. This made for a rough tea year and the harvest of Second Flush Darjeeling was nearly impossible. Fortunately, work in the tea gardens resumed in October of 2017, and the harvest season of 2018 is in full swing.
The political conflict, an ongoing effort for independence in this region, is not resolved, and although peaceful negotiations are occurring, there is a level of political unpredictability that will continue.
2) Increasing tea production costs:
Energy prices continue to increase in India which in turn raises the cost at the plantations where tea is processed. Also, there are positive developments. Many tea gardens are switching to environmentally friendly gas operations thereby incurring extra costs. Another welcome development is a settled wage increase for tea garden employees. The growth in labor costs undoubtedly benefits the economy and improves workers’ living standards.
Our plan is to continue selling quality tea at reasonable prices. Sometimes circumstances beyond our control, including beneficial changes for the region of Darjeeling, may affect our prices. We are all about making tea production sustainable for years to come!