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January 17, 2017
3 Min Read
Continuing the investments it has made in Sri Lanka over the years, Nestlé reached another milestone by laying the foundation stone of a new manufacturing facility at its factory in Pannala, Kurunegala, as a commitment to strengthen the local dairy and coconut industries.
His excellency the president, Maithripala Sirisena, graced the foundation laying ceremony of the new facility as chief guest, at the Nestlé Kurunegala factory.
Honorable Gamini Jayawickrama Perera, minister of sustainable development and wildlife; honorable Anura Priyadarshana Yapa, minister of disaster management; honorable Ravi Karunanayake, minister of finance; honorable P. Harrison, minister of rural economic affairs; and his excellency, Heinz Walker-Nederkoorn, ambassador of Switzerland to Sri Lanka and Maldives attended the ceremony as special guests.
Through this new investment, the company plans to expand its production capacity for its popular dairy and coconut based products, providing consumers with more goods that cater to local tastes and nutritional needs.
Nestlé has been operating in Sri Lanka for over 110 years and prides itself in being a local multinational that manufactures products locally, largely using local ingredients. It locally produces over 90% of the Nestlé products sold in the country today and exports to over 50 countries, driving both import substitution and expansion of exports.
While congratulating Nestlé on its new investment, Karunanayake recognized Nestlé's long presence in the country and commended the company's contributions towards strengthening the local economy through their efforts in empowering local dairy farmers which has led to import substitution.
"We are committed to Sri Lanka and believe in the country's growth potential," said Shivani Hegde, managing director for Nestlé Lanka "Our new investment reinforces our purpose of enhancing the quality of life of the people of Sri Lanka as it will empower the farmers we work with daily and uplift their lives."
To recognize the efforts made by Nestlé's dairy and coconut farmers, a farmer felicitation was held in parallel to the foundation laying ceremony in the presence of over 200 Nestlé farmers.
"I started my milk business with only 5 l of milk back in 2010. Thanks to Nestlé's continuous support in offering farmer trainings to help increase my yield, I have grown my business to 100 l of milk per day,” said K. Mathanakumari, a Nestlé dairy farmer in Mullaitivu. "I am thankful that Nestlé will provide us farmers with opportunities to sell more milk and earn a larger income"
The company has made significant investments to support and develop Sri Lanka's rural economy, especially in the dairy and coconut sectors. As Sri Lanka's largest private sector collector of fresh milk, and one of the world's largest exporters of coconut milk powder, Nestlé supports the livelihood of close to 27,000 local farmers and their families. Its payment to farmers for procuring these raw materials came to Rs. 6 billion in 2016 alone. Recently, the company launched a Coconut Development Programme in collaboration with the Sri Lanka Coconut Cultivation Board, and donated 10,000 coconut plantlets across 150 acres to 2000 coconut farming families, and developed two model coconut farms to showcase best practices.
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