Interesting link to an article in the Times of India discussing plans for small tea growers to develop their own brand. I’d never heard of the “Confederation of Indian Small Tea Growers’ Association” (Cista) until I read this article. Instead of selling their tea unprocessed, members would process their leaves in their own factories, under their own branding. The initiative fosters motivation, and self help classes are offered to understand the finer practicalities of this new undertaking. It’s an interesting concept and I need to do more research into this. http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/guwahati/Small-tea-growers-to-create-own-brand/articleshow/12368715.cms
I believe there are a few cooperative factories in the Nilgiris… in northern India the plantation model dominates. There are a few worker-run plantations, but they generally run into technical problems, due to lack of training… often these sorts of plantations happen when the management abandons it due to financial issues or some other setback, leaving the pluckers and processors to fend for themselves.
In Sri Lanka they experimented with nationalized tea gardens, but had trouble turning a profit for various reasons until the industry was privatized again.