equifarmtea is the brand name under which the Grassroots Tea Corporation Private Limited (GTC) sells its tea. GTC incorporated in 2017 in New Delhi operates at the aggregation, repacking, wholesale and retail of authentic tea, the second largest consumed liquid after water in the world.
Completing the loop of value chain cycle, GTC operates at three distinct stages. GTC (i) empowers small tea growers (STGs) to cultivate chemical free tea; (ii) leads STGs to raise equity to set up Tea Producer Companies under Company Act, 1953 and helps TPCs to set up tea processing factories to manufacture high quality, certified orthodox tea / green tea; (iii) aggregates the tea and
markets it to conscious consumers under a common brand, 'equifarm tea'.
Our long term vision is to transform socio-economic outcomes for 250000 small tea growers (STGs) at risk, in India. We work towards ensuring dignity and economic justice for all STGs by enabling fair compensation at multiple levels of value accrual throughout the tea value chain. The project aims to set up an alternate model for the tea-value chain in India as a core strategy to drive
systemic change in the longer run. Further, we envisage that big brands and retailers recognise and execute the principle of fair compensation at value accruals.
In this model, subsistence tea farmers organise, in collectives, to own and actively participate in the value-creating & value-sharing processes across the value chain: at cultivation, at manufacturing, and at the retail level. As a part of our long-term vision, we envisage to facilitate setting up more STG owned tea producer companies (TPC) directly impacting larger number of STG households and worker households across India.
At the cultivation and manufacturing level, GTC encouraged a group of enterprising 260 indigenous Bodo small tea farmers in Udalguri district in Assam to set up 4 manufacturing units in 2017 to process green tea leaves sourced from their own farms. Each unit has an investment of more than a crore in terms of land, building, machinery and other equipments. The mini tea factories have the capacity to process 2,500 kg of green leaf per a day at full capacity utilisation.
The GTC, managed by professionals, has on its Director Board representatives from the TPCs ensuring transparency and governorship rights to farmers.
Orthodox Tea and Green Tea are the main products. To begin with, we offer Orthodox Tea Premium Whole Leaf Tea and Premium Orthodox Tea in 75 g, 100 g and 150 g Pouches. We also offer Premium Orthodox Tea and Premium Green Tea in enveloped tea bags.
Wellness in a cup. As the name suggests, traditional methods of tea production are used in processing of Orthodox tea, which includes plucking, withering, rolling, oxidation and drying. Orthodox teas are generally bright and brisk and have a multilayered authentic flavour profile. The method of processing retains antioxidants in tea.
While processing Green Tea, the tea leaves are heated by steaming, rolled and dried. Steaming helps to halt the oxidation process before the leaves are rolled into shape. Steaming also helps expose the fresh, grassy flavour of the leaf. Green tea leaves are not allowed to oxidise after rolling, so that they retain light colour and flavour.
The tea produced by the TPCs and marketed by GTC is chemical free/organic, traceable, green / orthodox, single origin, subsumes geographical indicators, made by and owned by small tea farmers, ensuring their sustainable livelihood, ensures that the farmers earn more profits. The tea is cultivated, manufactured and sold observing social, economic and environmental standards.
Apart from this the tea workers will be provided with social security, will invest in the development of the community, observe water conservation, waste management and ecological sustainability.
GTC has started the processes of obtaining Organic Certification and Rainforest Alliance Certification.
A very important component of the ‘equifarmtea’ model is that the farmers will be compensated at three main stages of value creation - when the farmers sell their produce for processing; when the factory sell their manufactured tea to the marketing company; and when the marketing company sells the branded (‘equifarmtea’) product to the consumers.