The Tea Board of India, the official Indian tea authority, oversees all tea production in the tea-growing areas of India. As an independent body under the Ministry of Commerce, it operates on a non-profit basis and is not involved in the manufacture of any product. The Tea Board's primary functions are to regulate the production and cultivation of Indian tea and to improve its international marketing. It also promotes tea research, collects and disseminates statistical data, and encourages labor welfare programs.
One of the Tea Board's main objectives is to ensure fair and competitive marketing and to establish a mechanism to guarantee the supply chain integrity for Darjeeling tea. For what claims to be Darjeeling is not always Darjeeling: The Tea Board has estimated that up to 40,000 tons of tea a year are sold under the name of "Darjeeling" worldwide, although the district of Darjeeling exports merely 10,000 tons a year. The 30,000 additional tons of fake Darjeeling compromise the quality and depress the producer prices for the 10,000 tons of genuine Darjeeling.
As a protection against this harmful blending of genuine Darjeeling with tea from other areas, the Tea Board has introduced a special trademark, the "Golden Maiden." The seal serves to distinguish the goods of one trader from those of others, and it is a reliable indicator of trade origin in the international tea trade.
In order to support Indian tea producers and to help establish the "Golden Maiden" seal as the sole guarantor of genuine Darjeeling quality, we decided against creating a logo of our own. Instead, we applied to the Tea Board of India for permission to use its unique certification and marketing symbol. In 1988, the Tea Board of India granted us the right to carry this quality label, thereby making us the first German tea trader ever given this privilege.
To this day, instead of displaying a separate company logo, we support the "Golden Maiden" emblem, introduced to protect the excellent quality of genuine Darjeeling tea and the remarkable efforts of Indian tea producers.