The food department has specified the FSSAI guidelines for tea business in India. India is a leader in the tea manufacturing business around the world. Why is FSSAI License required for starting a tea business in India? In the present time, the consumer has also become conscious of what they are consuming. They make sure that they purchase a food product that is free from adulteration and contamination of any kind. Today, consumers have become aware of food safety compliance and prefer to purchase a food product that is approved by the FSSAI Dept. Tea is a beverage that is extensively sold across the country and sold by many manufacturers under different brand names. FSSAI License is required for all type of tea business whether it’s trading or wholesale or retailing or Export / Import. As per regulations, ‘Tea” is mentioned under the beverages category and has three sub-types namely Tea, Kangra Tea, and Green Tea. TEA means tea other than Kangra tea that is obtained by adequate processes, exclusively from the leaves, buds and tender stems of the plant of the Camellia sinensis (L) O. Kuntze. It may be in the form of black or oolong tea. The product shall have the characteristic flavor free from any off-odour, mustiness, and taint. It must not include living insects, dead insects, molds, insect fragments and rodent contamination that is visible to the naked eye. The product shall be free from added coloring, harmful substances, and extraneous matter. The tea may contain natural flavors and natural flavoring substances, which are flavor preparations and acceptable for human consumption only if it is obtained by physical processes from the plant origin, either in their natural state or after processing for human consumption in packaged tea only. The tea must be sold with the indication of whether it is Kangra Tea or not. Kangra TEA means tea that is derived from the leaves, buds and tender stems of plants of the Camellia sinensis or Camellia tea that are grown in Kangra and Mandi valleys of Himachal Pradesh. Green Tea means the tea product that is derived exclusively and produced by acceptable processes, inactivation, notably enzyme, rolling and drying from the leaves, buds and tender stems of the varieties of the species Camellia Sinensis (L) O. Kuntze, that is known to be suitable for making tea for human consumption. Tea used in the manufacturing of the flavored tea shall conform to the standards of tea. Also, the tea containing added flavor needs to bear a proper label declaration as provided in the regulation. If the tea manufacturer is providing flavored tea, then they must register with the Tea Board before marketing flavored tea. Regulation 7.3.11- Restriction on sale of the Kangra Tea– Kangra tea shall be sold or offered for sale only after it is marked and graded in accordance with the provisions of the Agricultural Produce (Grading and Marking) Act, 1937 (1 of 1937) and the regulations made thereunder. Regulation 7.3.12- Condition for sale of the Flavored Tea- Flavored tea shall be sold or offered for sale only by the manufacturers who are registered with the Tea Board. On the label of the package, the registration number must be mentioned. Flavored Tea must be sold only in packed conditions with a label declaration as mentioned in the regulations. The tea manufacturers must make sure that the tea is packed and labelled in accordance with FSSAI regulations. The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI), is now very stringent on the regulatory norms related to the labelling requirements of the products. Therefore, the manufacturer must be very careful and ensure fulfilling all requirements or otherwise he or she will be liable for penalties mentioned under the FSS (Packaging and Labelling) Regulations, 2011. Read our article: Implications of Non Compliance with the Provisions of FSSAI Labelling requirement under FSSAI Before Applying for Food License, it is mandatory to follow the product labelling requirement as prescribed by the FSSAI dept and the label must bear all the relevant and important information before it is ready for sale in the market. The package must carry a label with the information mentioned below: Common Name of the Product;Name and address of the manufacturer;Date of manufacturing;Expiration Date;Net Weight of the content by volume, weight or count;Ingredients details with additives;Packaging Codes/ Batch Number;Country of origin for imported food. The label must have content that is clear, prominent, and easily readable by the consumers. The label of the product must not contain or describe any content that is false or deceptive or is likely to generate erroneous impression to its character in any respect. Product Testing and Approval norms for Tea Business in India There are several food safety constraints that need to be tested before the food product is launched on the market. The food is tested in the NABL labs to make sure that the food product is as per the regulations and quality compliance. Also, product approval is imperative for tea manufacturers before selling it to the public. There are many rules and regulations mentioned under the FSSAI, which continues to get updated over time. Therefore, for the manufacturers, it might become quite difficult to understand the procedure for the FSSAI Product approval and FSSAI registration is required well on time. In that case, it is wise to utilize the assistance of a professional FSSAI consultant that can guide and help in fulfilling all compliance and obtaining the required license or registration. These consultants have a comprehensive knowledge of the rules and regulations of FSSAI. These FSSAI consultants help in the entire procedure, from the initial consultation to document preparation, application drafting, product testing, approval and submitting the application. They take care of all the minute details and offer excellent service at cost-effective prices. If you want assistance in obtaining license, registration, or product approval through FSSAI, then it is wise to avail yourself of the service of a professional consultant as they help to make the process convenient and hassle-free. Essential regulations to be known by a tea business aspirant FSSAI has prohibited the use of any colouring substance in tea;It has allowed the use of 0.2% pectinase enzyme for enhancement of flavouring characteristics in tea;The use of natural flavours and the use of natural flavouring substances is permitted in tea;Like every other food business operators, all tea businesses should obtain a FSSAI license for activities such as manufacturing, marketing, retail etc. Conclusion Tea business in India is flourishing with the increase in number of tea lovers in this land. However, in order to sustain one’s business, complying with regulations is a must. Read our article: Why FBOs follow FSSAI Compliance?