Since coffee flowers appear only once in a year (from February to April), it is highly crucial that they be pollinated during this period. This is because the volume of flowers generated in one flowering season determines the harvest of coffee that happens 8-9 months later. Thus, to generate maximum blossoms during this period, farmers rely on honey bees for pollination of their coffee plantations.
In order to enhance coffee production through pollination, and in turn revive the diminishing population of honey bees to preserve the bio-diversity, TATA Coffee has invested in apiculture, or honey bee farming as it is commonly known. For bees to exist in large numbers, we create the optimal conditions in and around the coffee plantations so as to provide them the ideal nesting grounds. With conscious efforts on our part, we have been able to retain and encourage the growth of honey bees in our plantations, which results in the production of delectable honey (sold at our properties and the proceeds of which are given to Swastha) and reap the benefits of pollination by these hard workers!
The word pepper, derived from the Sanskrit word 'pipalli', is the King of Spices, and is valued for its characteristic penetrating aroma and hot, pungent taste. At Tata Coffee, pepper is cultivated as an intercrop with coffee, utilising the tall trees planted to provide natural shade to coffee as support trees for pepper vines.
With over 13.5 lakh tree standards with pepper and an annual production of 1000 metric tonnes, TATA Coffee accounts for 1.5% of India's total pepper production, making it the largest producer of this spice in the country. With centralized grading and cleaning facilities and state-of-the-art quality control laboratory, the company is a leading exporter of white pepper with a considerable quantity of black pepper also reaching the export markets.
For more information about our pepper plantations, visit www.tatacoffee.com/business_units/plantations/pepper.htm