McLeod Russel plans blending unit in Dubai


Kolkata : The world’s largest tea producer, McLeod Russel India, plans to set up a tea blending unit in Dubai to offer a new range of products to its customers, a top company official said here Monday.

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“We have tea of Uganda, Assam and Vietnam. We are now contemplating that with our network of buyers we will be giving them a blended tea. We are planning to offer new lines of sales,” Aditya Khaitan, managing director, told reporters on the sidelines of the annual general meeting of the company.

“We are thinking of setting up the blending unit in Dubai because that is the multi-origin setup. We now need to add value to what we have instead of just selling tea. It’s a new product we want to give to the market,” he said.

The company is expecting to start the blending unit by October-November, he said.

McLeod Russel’s has acquired Williamson Tea Assam Ltd from London-based Magors in 2005. The same year it bought Hindustan Lever Ltd’s entire stake in Doomdooma Tea Company. It also bought Moran Holdings Plc of Britain in 2007.

Mcleod Russel through its wholly-owned unit, Borelli Tea Holdings Ltd, Briatin, has acquired Phu Ben Tea Company Ltd, Vietnam in 2009. In the same year it acquired six tea gardens in Uganda.

The main sales target of the company would be Middle East and Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) countries, he said, as these countries are open to standard blend multi-origin tea.

Talking about the domestic tea production of the company in the current fiscal (2010-11), Khaitan said production level is expected to remain flat as last year’s in the range of 77.2 million kgs, which is likely to fall short of the targeted 80 million kgs for 2010-11.