By Nitika Sinha and Hashmeeta Sehgal
Himachal Pradesh’s unique Kangra Tea has recently been granted Geographical Indication (GI) registration in European Union, which is considered to be a significant milestone for the tea industry in India. This registration will pave the way for commercialization of Kangra Tea in European countries, which will help to increase its popularity and demand relating back to the British era when Kangra Tea acquired recognition for its unique qualities. In India, Kangra Tea was awarded the GI designation in the year 2005 by the Registrar of Geographical Indicators, Chennai.
Kangra Tea is a unique variety of tea derived from the leaves, buds and tender stems of the Camellia sinensis species as cultivated grown in the Kangra district of Himachal Pradesh, India. The Kangra Valley is renowned for its produce premium quality teas (green, orthodox black, white and oolong) with their unique bouquet and a sweet lingering after taste.
Kangra Tea is known for its health benefits as it is rich in antioxidants and is observed to have anti-inflammatory properties. It is also believed to contribute in reducing stress and improving mental alertness.
Kangra Tea was exported to European markets during the British era in the year 1849. After, Dr. Jameson (superintendent of the Botanical Tea Gardens) declared the region quite suitable for tea cultivation and later started its first commercial production in 1852, it received various awards from markets in Amsterdam and London from the year 1886 to 1895. 
The GI registration of Kangra Tea with the European Union will enable the sale of the tea in European countries under its own name which will subsequently help to protect the authenticity and quality of Kangra Tea and prevent its use by third parties whose products do not originate from the same geographical area i.e., Kangra region or do not conform to the certified standards of production. It will also help to promote sustainable agriculture practices in the region by encouraging farmers to grow high-quality tea. This will help Kangra Tea to reach a broader audience and increase its demand in international markets similar to Darjeeling Tea which also obtained GI registration in European Union in the year 2011.
Picture showing different types of tea (green, white, oolong and orthodox black) prepared from ‘Kangra tea’ leaves.
Kangra tea leaves for European markets (tribuneindia.com)
https://www.tribuneindia.com/news/himachal/kangra-tea-leaves-for-european-markets-509062 accessed July 03, 2023
 Kangra tea second product to get European GI tag: CM (thestatesman.com) https://www.thestatesman.com/india/kangra-tea-second-product-to-get-european-gi-tag-cm-1503182606.html accessed July 03, 2023
 Protecting local products with Geographical Indications (wipo.int) https://www.wipo.int/ip-outreach/en/ipday/2022/toptips/geo_indications.html#:~:text=As%20IP%20rights%2C%20GIs%20provide,the%20certified%20standards%20of%20production accessed June 8, 2023.