About Us

ABOUT EQUIFARM TEA

Wellness in a tea cup

Equifarm tea is the brand of Grassroots Tea Corporation Private Limited (GTC). Through equifarm tea we want to create a model with a difference in the beverage industry. We bring you fresh, quality tea straight from our farmer communities. Our teas are infused with our values of fairness and steeped in our principles of transparency and empowerment. Our farmer communities have a direct say in the business and are able to invest back in improving product quality and influence social outcomes.

We believe every cup of tea has the power to change lives. By creating a strong, inter connected communi- tea of farmers and consumers, we bring wellness to your teacup and dignity and fairness to the lives of our farmer partners.

We assure ethical, social and ecological sustainability and traceability.

ABOUT GRASSROOTS TEA CORPORATION

Grassroots Tea Corporation Private Limited (GTC) incorporated in 2017 in New Delhi, in close collaboration with small tea growers, operates at the aggregation, repacking, whole sale 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’.

Currently there are about 250 Bodo farmers from the small tea grower collectives of Rwdwmsha, Rwdwmkhang, Swmkhwr Valley and Alupara from Assam who are associated with GTC. The processing facilities of the collectives manufacture approximately 130,000 kg of premium quality orthodox and green tea.

The GTC, managed by professionals, has on its Director Board representatives from the TPCs ensuring transparency and governorship rights to farmers.

OUR VISION

Our vision is to transform socio-economic outcomes for all 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. We aim 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, 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.

THE PEOPLE

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 1,500 kg of green leaf per a day at full capacity utilisation.

RWDWMSHA TEA PRODUCER COMPANY LIMITED

A collective of 54 farmers with a total tea area of 44.20 hectares in the Barengabari village, Udalgudi district, Assam came together to form Rwdwmsha Small Tea Growers Society (registered on 07-09-2012 with the objective of engaging in collective leaf trade avoiding leaf agents and get a higher price for the leaf that they supply to the processing factories. This was facilitated by Centre for Education and Communication (CEC) New Delhi.

Farmers were selling the leaf individually and getting about Rs 14 per kg. In 2013, the growers collectively sold the leaf to processing factory and obtained a higher price of Rs.19 per kg. Farmers obtained technical trainings and improved quality of leaf.

The collective leaf trade fuelled the leadership and entrepreneurial aspirations of Rwdwmasha PPS, kindling their desire to move up the value chain. The Rwdwmsha PPS brought together its active members as shareholders to constitute Rwdwmsha Tea Producer Company Limited (RSATPCL) and incorporated it on 11/07/2016 under sub-section (2) of Section 7 of the Companies Act, 2013 and under Rule 8 of the Companies (Incorporation) Rules, 2014.

RSATPCL runs farmer-owned micro tea processing factory with a capacity of processing 1500 kg of green leaf per day (in full capacity) as per the provisions of the notification issued by the Tea Board of India dated 3 January 2017.

While taking advantage of a ‘Company’ registration, like raising Capital and sharing profit, the Producer Company framework has the advantage that it runs based on cooperative principles. The shareholders are ‘active producers’, which means that shares will be given to only those contribute in the supply of green tea leaves and that everyone will have ‘one’ vote irrespective of number of shares one holds.

SWMKHWR VALLEY TEA PRODUCER COMPANY LIMITED

Khasiapather, Jabangapather, Darogachub are villages mostly inhabited by Boro indigenous community, located in the backward district of Udalgudi in the State of Assam. Agriculture is the main occupation.

The farmers in these villages started cultivating Tea sometime in 2009. CEC started work among the growers in 2012. when the farmers were selling the leaf individually to processing factory at about Rs 14 per kg. Subsequently, 32 farmers in these villages came together to form Sona-Bilai Small Tea Growers Society (registered on 07-09-2012. In 2013, the growers collectively sold the leaf to processing factory and obtained a higher price of Rs.20 per kg.

The collective leaf trade has fuelled the leadership and entrepreneurial aspirations of Sona- Bilai PPS, kindling their desire to move up the value chain. In 2015 and 2016, leaders attended various Business Planning Workshop organised by CEC. The Sona-Bilai PPS brought together its active members as shareholders to constitute Swmkhwr Valley Tea Producer Company Limited (SKVTPCL), which has been incorporated on 16 December 2016 as a Producer Company under sub-section (2) of Section 7 of the Companies Act, 2013 and under Rule 8 of the Companies (Incorporation) Rules, 2014.

The new entity intends to invest and set up our own tea processing unit. The great advantages are the young tea bushes, quality leaf (two leaf and a bud), chemical free leaves and above all, the great willingness to cooperate among the community.

SKVTPCL runs farmer-owned micro tea processing factory with a capacity of processing 1500 kg of green leaf per day (in full capacity) as per the provisions of the notification issued by the Tea Board of India dated 3 January 2017.

While taking advantage of a ‘Company’ registration, like raising Capital and sharing profit, the Producer Company framework has the advantage that it runs based on cooperative principles. The shareholders are ‘active producers’, which means that shares will be given to only those contribute in the supply of green tea leaves and that everyone will have ‘one’ vote irrespective of number of shares one holds

RWDWMKHANG TEA PRODUCER COMPANY LIMITED

A collective of 54 farmers in the Barengabari village, Udalgudi district, Assam came together to form Rwdwmkhang Small Tea Growers Society (registered on 07-09-2012 with the objective of engaging in collective leaf trade avoiding leaf agents and get a higher price for the leaf that they supply to the processing factories. This was facilitated by Centre for Education and Communication (CEC) New Delhi.

The collective leaf trade fuelled the leadership and entrepreneurial aspirations of Rwdwmkhang PPS, kindling their desire to move up the value chain. In 2015 and 2016, leaders attended various Business Planning Workshop organised by CEC. The Rwdwmkhang PPS brought together its active members as shareholders to constitute Rwdwmkhang Tea Producer Company Limited (RKGTPCL) and incorporated it on 11 July 2016 under sub-section (2) of Section 7 of the Companies Act, 2013 and under Rule 8 of the Companies (Incorporation) Rules, 2014.

RKGTPCL runs farmer-owned micro tea processing factory with a capacity of processing 1500 kg of green leaf per day (in full capacity) as per the provisions of the notification issued by the Tea Board of India dated 3 January 2017.

While taking advantage of a ‘Company’ registration, like raising Capital and sharing profit, the Producer Company framework has the advantage that it runs based on cooperative principles. The shareholders are ‘active producers’, which means that shares will be given to only those contribute in the supply of green tea leaves and that everyone will have ‘one’ vote irrespective of number of shares one holds.

PUB CHOIDUAR SMALL TEA GROWERS SOCIETY

Tea farmers in the Alupara village, Assam started cultivating Tea sometime in 2009. With the support of Centre for Education and Communication (CEC), New Delhi farmers in these villages came together to form Pub Choiduar Small Tea Growers Society (registered on 25-03-2013 having Reg. No. SPR/242/F/156) and started collective leaf trade.

In 2015 and 2016, leaders attended various Business Planning Workshop organised by CEC. Members of Pub Choiduar STG Society manufactures chemical free green tea to cater to health and quality conscious customers and bring in sustainable impact on the small tea farmers.

THE PRODUCTS

Orthodox Tea and Green Tea are the main products. We bring them to the customers in original natural taste. Currently we offer

  • Premium Orthodox Whole Leaf Tea
  • Premium Orthodox Tea
  • Premium Orthodox Tea in Enveloped Tea Bags
  • 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.

UNIQUE VALUES

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.