History of beginning of tea industry unfolds the fact that it was in 1664, the first shipment of tea, two pounds and two ounces, arrived in England and was given to Charles II (1630-1685). This proved a harbinger of the growth of a great trade commodity first with China and then later with India. In 1678, the first substantial shipment of tea arrived in Britain. By 1710, British trade with the Chinese at Canton assumed a stable source of tea for future export.
In 1834, Lord William Bentinck (1774-1839) submitted to the Company's Council of Directors, a memorandum on the potential for initiating a tea industry in India. In 1835, first cultivated as a garden crop, India tea emerged over the next three decades as an important industry in Assam. In 1837, a sample shipment of tea from Assam acquired a ready market in London. In 1839, in London, Cockerell, Larpet & Co. organised the Assam Company with an initial capital of 10,000 shares worth 50 pounds each. The Assam Company took control of two-thirds of the British East India Company's experimental gardens located in Assam. Local management came from the firm of Carr, Tagore & Co.
The history of the beginning of tea industry in India is therefore a journey; a voyage towards flourishing economic growth. During the times of 1834, with the advent of iron-bottomed steamboats operating on the Ganges, their economic impact proved important in their accelerated capacity to move goods to markets. Due to the cost of this transportation, only special goods of high value could use it.
During 1834, William Carr and Dwarkanath Tagore (1794-1836) launched the Carr, Tagore & Co. at Calcutta with exporting as its main business. The firm proved to be the first biracial enterprise in India.
In 1859, with new gardens developing in the Brahmaputra River Valley, the tea industry expanded greatly its recruitment and shipment of hill coolies. Their abuse by tea planters led to the implementation of Act III of 1863 which regularised the length of contract, determined rates of pay and provided measures to protect the health of the coolie. The history of the beginning of tea industry in India thus sketches the journey of Indian trade
(Last Updated on : 29-02-2012)
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