INDIA – Goodricke Group, West Bengal based tea company has said it will be increasing the capacity of its packet tea business from 8.8 million kg to 12 million kg by next year.
It also plans to focus more on private sales and send less produce to auction in order to fetch better prices for its commodity.
According to ET Retail, the company has been uprooting 3% of its old bushes each year with a strict adherence to standard sustainability norms, while raising its production capacity from 2600kg to 3600kg per hectare by planting higher-yield clones and cutting down average cost of production in the last 20 years.
“We want to increase private sales and reduce loads from our auction channel in order to get a better price realization.
A solid separate channel of private sales will improve our numbers. For this, we need to improve our quality of production and quantity of yield, which is in our hands,” said Goodricke MD & CEO Atul Asthana.
Increasing capacity, volumes and revenue
In order to balance its orthodox and CTC (crush, tear, curl), the company, in which Camellia group Plc of UK holds 74% stake has purchased gardens in Assam for the last three years.
It plans to acquire one or two gardens with at least 2 million kg annual production capacity in Assam.
Goodricke has 27 gardens in India with a combined capacity of 28 million kg of tea, ten of them in Assam producing 9.5 million kg on a yearly basis.
The company also plans to unveil tea tourism by opening two picturesque Darjeeling estates- Margaret’s Hope at Tung and Thurbo in Mirik by March next year.
Other plans include expanding its export capacity from 5.5million kg to 7.5 million kg by the next year.
The group reported a profit of US$4.61 million in 2017 compared to US$8.03 million the year before.
In the fourth quarter, it managed a US$8.01 million loss impacted by the closure of Darjeeling.
“Our performance was good despite the prolonged closure in Darjeeling last year. Volume-wise, a record crop in Dooars helped maintain the overall crop at around 18.7 million kgs (except Ambootia gardens). Assam crop too was good,” said Asthana.
In October last year, it entered into an agreement with Godfrey Phillips India (GPI) to acquire the latter’s packed tea brands for US$2.91 million.