Tamul Plates Teams With Upaya to Expand Arecanut Tableware Production Across Northeast India

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Assam-based natural dinnerware producer Tamul Plates Marketing Pvt. Ltd. is pleased to announce that it has received a seed investment from Upaya Social Ventures through Upaya’s LiftUP Project. Based in the Barpeta District of Assam, Tamul Plates produces and markets high-quality, all-natural disposable plates and bowls made from arecanut (palm) tree leaves under the “Tambul Leaf Plates” brand.

Disposable arecanut dinnerware is hygienic, chemical-free, compostable, microwave safe, and in high demand among urban consumers around the world.

The production and sale of natural arecanut dinnerware not only reduces the deforestation and pollution associated with the production of traditional disposable dishes, but also provides a viable livelihood to disadvantaged communities.

“Unemployment is the root cause of so many problems plaguing the Northeast today, and Tamul Plates was launched to create new opportunities for rural youth to earn a dependable income,” said Tamul Plates CEO Arindam Dasgupta. “We feel that this partnership with Upaya affords us the resources needed to expand our operations and be a positive economic force in these communities,” said Dasgupta.

Tamul Plates produces dinnerware through a network of affiliates across tribal regions of Northeast India. The company ensures that each affiliate has the skills and machinery needed to produce superior-quality dinnerware. These affiliates are located in communities otherwise struggling with stubbornly high rates of unemployment, especially as heavy annual monsoons and floods diminish the ability of farmers to earn a dependable income from conventional agriculture alone.

 Two men work a pair of presses in a community-run Tamul Plates production unit.

Two men work a pair of presses in a community-run Tamul Plates production unit.

 A woman cleans recently collected arecanut leaves to prepare them for pressing.

A woman cleans recently collected arecanut leaves to prepare them for pressing.

“There are more than 100,000 hectares of arecanut plantation in Northeast India - one of the poorest and most backward areas of the country - but there is virtually no one connecting these small farmers to the equipment and support needed to produce high-quality disposable arecanut leaf dinnerware,” said Upaya’s Director, Business Development Sreejith Nedumpully. “Upaya is very excited to be working with Arindam and his team as we believe they can provide those services and be a major employer in poor tribal communities across the Northeast,” said Nedumpully.

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