New Delhi: Around 400 delegates from across the planet will huddle in Guwahati from 22 November for a three-day global convention on tea that is unlikely to figure Assam-born Hollywood actress Julie Christie.
“The convention will mainly aim at promoting tea, both at the domestic level as well as exports,” Dhiraj Kakoty, secretary of Assam branch of Indian Tea Association (ABITA), said.
Hollywood magic: Julie Christie is unlikely to attend a three-day globa tea convention in Guwahati for promotion of the beverage
“Till now we have registered nearly 350 delegates. Representatives from countries like Russia, the UK, Germany, Pakistan, Kenya, Sri Lanka, China and Indonesia are expected to be here,” Kakoty told PTI on phone from Guwahati.
The union commerce ministry had approached Christie of ‘Dr Zhivago’ fame in a bid to promote the beverage on a global level. Christie was born at Chabua in upper Assam’s Dibrugarh district, where her father was the manager of a tea estate.
But ministry sources said Christie is unlikely to attend the convention as she has other commitments.
“We were hoping to promote tea with the help of Christie, who enjoys a demi-goddess status,” a source in the ministry here said.
The highpoint of the convention, held for the first time in Assam, will be a tea-testing session.
“The tea-testing session by prospective buyers will feature for the first time at such a convention. The participants will get a taste of the varying flavours of Indian tea,” Kakoty said. The delegates will also pay a visit to the Tocklai Experimental Station in Jorhat.
“Issues ranging from Indian tea panorama, Assam tea, key markets, emergence of retailing to global sourcing of tea will be discussed during the various business sessions,” he said.
“We will also get to know about the prospective buyers of our tea,” said Kakoty.
Assam’s share of the total tea produced in India is over 50%. Last year, the state produced around 485 million kg of tea.
The Indian government has been exploring new markets following a slump in the tea industry in the recent past.