After 154 years, Nepali tea receives international trademark

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After 154 years, Nepali tea receives international trademark
In this Sunday, Nov. 16, 2014 photo, a Nepalese worker picks tea leaves at a tea garden in Kanyam in Illam district, around 500 kilometers (310 miles) from Katmandu, Nepal. Illam is a hilly district of tea gardens and estates in eastern Nepal’s Himalayan region with one of its largest and most productive tea estate being Kanyam estates. The district produces orthodox tea, hand-processed or machine rolled, which is generally exported to international markets, specially Europe and the United States. Most of the tea pickers here are paid 186 Nepalese Rupees (US $ 2) for 8 hours of work everyday. (AP Photo/Niranjan Shrestha)

Kathmandu:  Nepalese tea has finally received an international trademark, over a century-and-a-half after cultivation began in the country, authorities said on Monday.

According to the National Tea and Coffee Development Board under the Ministry of Agricultural Development, the brand logo developed and registered by the Department of Industry has been endorsed.

“Nepali tea producers used to export tea with the respective companies’ names or logos. Now, the tea will be sold in the international market with a common logo, which represents the national identity,” Sheshkanta Gautam, executive director of the Nepal Tea and Coffee Development Board, told Xinhua.

The trademark comprises an image of mountains with “Nepal Tea: Quality from the Himalayas” written below it.

Gautam said the logo will be formally unveiled during the third International Tea Festival in Nepal next month.

With the approval of the Nepali Orthodox Tea Certification Trademark Implementation Directive, the board has already asked producers, processors, packagers and traders to use the logo.

According to the National Tea and Coffee Development Board, Nepal produces tea in over 27,688 hectares of land in 44 districts, mainly in eastern districts like Ilam, Jhapa, Dhankuta, Terhathum and Panchthar.

Nepal has been exporting tea to eight countries, including India, Canada, Germany, the US and China.

Shankar Sapkota, co-spokesperson at the Ministry of Agricultural Development, told Xinhua: “Having Nepal’s own trademark is indeed good news which will be beneficial for the farmers and the overall tea industry.”

Tea cultivation is believed to have started in the Himalayan country in the eastern district of Ilam some 154 years ago. However, Nepal became a member of the International Tea Committee as recently as 2007.

The government of Nepal has also been marking 15th of the month of Baisakh, as per the Nepali calendar, as National Tea Day.