Guwahati: Some of Assam‘s most premium tea will go under the hammer at an International Tea Day special auction on Monday, being organised by mjunction services limited at its Jorhat tea e-marketplace.

This is the first time that mjunction services limited, an equal joint venture of Tata Steel and SAIL and one of India’s leading B2B e-commerce companies, is organising this special e-auction in Assam, officials said on Saturday.

The teas on offer at this e-auction will include the best teas as stipulated by the Tea Board of India to mark International Tea Day.

“Producers ensure that the tea offered is of premium quality by plucking only ‘two leaves and a bud’ on May 21, which is celebrated as International Tea Day. The auction to celebrate the day is done a month later as it takes time to prepare for it,” an official said.

Under a special endeavour of the Tea Board, plucking of the tea leaves is done on International Tea Day and then manufactured as the brew, followed by special auctions of these teas in June.

The first such initiative to mark the day was launched last year by the Tea Board and the special auction at six centres, including Guwahati and Kolkata, was conducted electronically on June 22, 2020.

“For its debut e-auction, mjunction’s centre at Jorhat has received some of the best of Assam’s CTC/Green and Orthodox marks such as Hookhmal, Muktabari, Aideobari, Rangliting, Narayanpur, Diroibam, Lankashi, Durgapur, Kathonibari, Arin and Pabhojan,” the official said.

Buyers, including premium tea retail chains, high-end tea shops and cafes, packeteers selling luxury and premium tea packs, and specialty tea traders, from all over India will participate in the e-auction, he added.

“We all look forward to celebrating Indian Tea. The last two years have been tough on the tea industry. All stakeholders, including small growers and small buyers, have been adversely affected due to the pandemic. This initiative will certainly do its bit in lifting the spirits of the industry,” mjunction Managing Director Vinaya Varma said.

The mjunction’s auction centre will bring together buyers, sellers, financers, logistic service providers, tea tasters and warehouses on a digital e-marketplace, ensuring efficiency, cost saving and fresh produce to the stakeholders, he added.

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The mjunction services limited had stepped into the e-marketplace world in 2020 with its tea e-auction platform set up in association with the Tea Board of India, at Jorhat in Assam.

In the last one year, mjunction’s e-marketplace connected with hundreds of sellers and buyers across the country, fetched good prices and received offerings of more than 1.3 million kg of tea from Assam, Nagaland and Arunachal Pradesh.

Nearly 300 stakeholders, consisting of major tea buyers and sellers, are registered in this tea e-marketplace.

“We are focused on bringing down the sales cycle time and make freshly produced tea available in the market, directly from the producing region in the shortest possible time. We want to make the supply-chain efficient and ease up the working capital burden of the stakeholders,” Varma said.

Without divulging details, he said that an international tea e-marketplace is on the anvil in the near future.

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