Tea company enters Ethiopia

Kanan Devan Hills Plantations Company (KDHP) that owns and runs Tata Tea estates in Munnar (Kerala), is planning to go global by entering into a joint venture with a tea company in Vietnam and acquiring management control of an Ethiopian tea estate.

KDHP signed an agreement in March 2010 with Lam Dong Tea Joint Stock Company (Ladotea) of Vietnam to set up a tea processing and manufacturing unit, TV Alexander, managing director of KDHP said.
Ladotea is one of the largest producers of tea in South Vietnam, supplying 6,000-8,000 tonne of tea per annum. KDHP will invest Rs 36 crore in the joint venture company formed to establish the new factory. The unit will process and manufacture black tea, instant tea and green tea extract.
The company would also market and export these products worldwide, he added.
The capacity of the units would be 12 lakh kg per year of black tea, 7.4 lakh kg of instant tea and close to 1 lakh kg of green tea, Alexander said. KDHP has been also given the right to invest in the Vietnamese company, which is listed in the Vietnam Stock Exchange, he added. Separately, KDHP has also signed an agreement with the East Africa Agri Business Private Limited company of Ethiopia to manage their 500 hectares tea estate.
KDHP will transfer the latest technology of tea planting, growing, harvesting and manufacturing of black tea to the African company. KDHP will also assist in planting tea in 5,000 hectares of land and will also have the option of investing in the equity of the company at a future date, Alexander said.

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