TEA Talks 5: Technology, Transparency and Tea

TEA Talks 5: Technology, Transparency and Tea

The tea industry is an ancient and traditional one, but even tea is beginning to open up to technological innovations. Some of these are helping to improve transparency on India’s tea plantations and small farms, and in so doing are improving the lives of tea workers and farmers.

Bhathiya Bulumulla, Director/CEO – Elpitiya Plantations PLC and Chairman of the Planters Association of Ceylon has a vision of a high tech tea sector in Sri Lanka. A tea sector in which pencil and paper is replaced by apps and  new technologies that make the lives of tea workers and the prosperity of tea estates better. His vision may seem like a pipe dream, but all the technology he describes already exists.

Supriya Sahu is CEO of INDCOSERVE – India’s largest tea cooperative federation. It works with around 30,000 small tea farmers, manufacturing about 13 million kgs of Black Tea annually. Under Sahu’s leadership, the federation has wholeheartedly embraced new technology from electronic tea weighing scales ensuring accurate payment directly into tea pluckers’ bank accounts to mobile apps that help farmers in the procurement of good quality leaf.

Darjeeling Organic Tea Estates’ CEO, Indroneel Goho, will share how his company is using facial recognition software to ensure the tea pluckers that work on the estate are paid accurately and the technology behind the company’s leaf to cup transparency drive.

We warmly invite people from all aspects of the tea sector to join us, bring us your stories, views, theories and questions about the use of technology to enhance transparency and improve human rights for tea workers and farmers.

Tickets are free, but a ticket with donation will help THIRST to keep bringing you these topical TEA Talks, our monthly news round-up, the Knowledge Hub curating key reports and resources on human rights in tea and – soon – our groundbreaking Human Rights Impact Assessment of the global tea sector.

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Bhathiya Bulumulla – Director/CEO – Elpitiya Plantations PLC

Mr. Bhathiya Bulumulla, the Chief Executive Officer of Elpitiya Plantations PLC was appointed to the Board of Aitken Spence Plantation Managements PLC in July, 2016 and to the Board of Elpitiya Plantations Plc in July, 2017. He possesses over 35 years of experience in the Plantation Sector, out of which for the past 22 years he is serving at Elpitiya Plantations PLC. He is also an honorary member of the Board Directors of the Rubber Research and Development Board and the Plantation Human Development Trust and currently holds the position of the Chairman of the Planters Association of Ceylon.

Supriya Sahu – CEO of INDCOSERVE

Supriya Sahu, Chief Executive Officer, INDCOSERVE Supriya Sahu is a Senior Indian Administrative Service Officer (IAS), with more than 28 years of experience in the Indian Administrative Service (IAS). She has worked extensively in areas relating to Socio-economic Development Administration, Health, Empowerment, Environment and Media. She has held important positions at Government of India and Government of Tamil Nadu including the Project Director, Health Systems Reforms, Joint Secretary in the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting and Director General, Doordarshan, etc.

Indroneel Goho – CEO of Darjeeling Organic Tea Estates.

Since April 2018, Indroneel has been CEO of Ambootia Tea – part of Darjeeling Organic Tea Estates Ltd – the largest producer of Demeter certified organic and biodynamic tea in the world for Darjeeling and Assam Tea. He began his career as a consultant at Ernst and Young and then worked for 14 years with IFB Industries Ltd and IFB Agro Industries Ltd, in Executive leadership roles driving diverse business verticals such as Consumer Durables, Food & Beverages and Travel.   From 2015 to 2017 he was Joint Managing Director of IFB Agro Industries Limtied with leadership responsibility for the company’s overall strategy development. Besides his professional education, he has also done the Executive Program in Stanford University, USA in 2012.

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