Tea Board will continue to protect Darjeeling brand in Europe

Kolkata, Nov 24 (IANS) Dismissing news reports on Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) tag on Darjeeling, the Tea Board of India on Thursday said it would continue to protect the brand equity of ‘Darjeeling’ in Europe and will work with European authorities for its enforcement.

On November 9, 2011, Darjeeling tea became the first Indian product to be protected as a geographical indication in the EU. The registration of Darjeeling as a PGI in EU was a major and historical achievement for all the stakeholders, the board said.

“Recently some news reports have been published on Darjeeling PGI quoting some sources which are factually incorrect and Tea Board doesn’t subscribe to such views.”

“The Board in association with Darjeeling Tea Association shall continue to protect the brand equity of ‘Darjeeling’ in Europe and shall work with the government authorities in European Union so that the Darjeeling PGI is enforced in its right perspective,” a statement said.

Effective November 9, 2011, the name ‘Darjeeling’ could only be used as a sales designation for tea grown and processed in accordance with the specifications set out in EU and Indian law.

That means that, to be called ‘Darjeeling’, the tea must be grown, picked and dried in the Darjeeling area using the traditional methods which help give the tea its special qualities, the board added.