Chamong TEE Exports
Chamong Tee Exports Pvt. Ltd. was incorporated in 1992 as the trading arm of the group. Its primary objective was to directly market and export the groups’ produce, in bulk as well as value added forms. Operations soon expanded to include trading in all varieties of teas so customers could purchase a varied product mix, and ensure standards were tailored to suit customers’ specific requirements.
The group produces about 3,050 metric tons of tea annually and employs about 10,000 personnel, of which approximately 7,000 are women. Social security and workers welfare have always been given high priority, together with statutory benefits such as free housing, ration, and medical and maternity benefits. The gardens have fully equipped hospitals, primary schools for workers' children and places of worship for each community.
The group's commitment to environmental issues is reflected in the number of gardens that have been, or are in the process of, being converted to Bio-Organic cultivation methods. This policy has not only made it possible to offer buyers the best flavors, it also provides a healthier working and living environment. Other eco-friendly projects include the tapping of natural water resources to produce hydroelectric power. And to prevent deforestation and maintain an ecological balance, liquid petroleum gas (LPG) is provided to the workers making wood fires redundant.
Chamong has stood the test of time and its integrity, loyalty and service is beyond compare; their track record speaks for itself. A new fully automatic blending and packaging unit has recently been commissioned in Calcutta to continue the hygienic blending and packaging of teas. Their infrastructure, experience and flexibility have given it a competitive edge, and now they export to most major tea consuming countries in Europe and the world, including Japan, the US and Middle East.
I purchases 2 cows with a loan from the Fair Trade Premium. I sell the milk in the local market in Chabua town. I also sell the dung back to Chamong for them to make organic compost. This has helped increase our household income, which is important because I have a family to feed. ”
The investment in gas cookers for the workers has advantages that span the environmental and economic. Previously, cooking was done using firewood stoves, which were both inefficient and wasteful. Now with gas stoves, no firewood is needed, and workers save money as well.
Sanitation Tank for Hygienic Production
Chamong elected to invest all Fair Trade revenue in 2008 in the construction of a sanitation tank and facility, improving production hygiene and the overall health of members in the community.
Chamong TEE purchased blankets to be distributed among its workers, especially during the winter months when it gets very cold in the tea growing region. This simple item helps prevent workers from falling prey to cold weather illnesses.