Ramesh Babu is a fourth-generation tea planter who decided to leave his family’s plantation in the southeast Indian state of Tamil Nadu to start his own organic operation.
“Initially, when you stop using [chemical] fertilizer you have a big fall in your production, so that’s one major factor which keeps other tea growers from going organic.”
As a result of lower yields, Ramesh has yet to see a profit from his tea estate by going organic, yet he is determined to change the way that tea is produced in India.
“It’s something that cannot be approached in terms of a business,” he said. “It’s a change of the mindset.”