For approximately 600 ginger farmers in the Hatharaliyadda, Marathugoda, Poojapitiya, Haguranketha, Gampola, Gampaha, Galle, Colombo and Kurunegala regions, Elephant House is their closest business partner.
As the renowned brand of Ceylon Cold Stores PLC, Elephant House Ginger Beer has for nearly two decades sourced its raw ginger requirement from smallholder farmers.
In 2018 alone, the company sourced 50 metric tons of dried ginger achieving an even greater milestone having purchased 2,100 metric tons of raw ginger to-date.
As Elephant House continues to grow its flagship brand, the unique soft drink EGB developed nearly a century ago based on an original recipe dating back to 1826, has witnessed a marked increase in popularity in the recent years.
To meet the growing demand for EGB, Elephant House has ramped up its ginger extraction capacities by more than four times.
With investments in new extraction plants equipped with state-of-art-machinery, the company’s extraction capabilities have increased to a monumental 120,000kg annum.
“The major expansion of Elephant House’s ginger extraction capacity will enable the company to double its production capacity and focus on catering to the growing demand for the much loved Ginger Beer. Our investments will ensure more efficient extraction and processing from the sustainably grown ginger, benefitting our smallholder farmer population and also helping provide ever-increasing value to our loyal customers,” said John Keells Holdings PLC Consumer Foods Sector President President Daminda Gamlath.
Elephant House’s investment will ensure that its production of Ginger Beer remains at the forefront of innovation to deliver the best taste, at a scale that fits with the needs of the iconic brand, as well as benefiting its farmer communities.
The company’s ambitious corporate social responsibility project (CSR) to source ginger from ginger growers, which is close to a landmark two decades, has enabled these indigenous ginger farmers to enhance their livelihoods but more importantly the collaboration has ensured Elephant House’s iconic and much-loved EGB retains its distinct flavour.
The scaling up of Elephant House’s extraction capacities also presents an opportunity for ginger farmers who can productively enhance utilisation of their acreage thereby increasing returns.
A hallmark of this project is empowering the farmers, providing an equitable income, technical assistance and ensuring they remain sustainable through value creation.
Additionally, the company conducts awareness and training programs on good agricultural practices and extends community support in areas such as health, nutrition and education. Empowering smallholder women ginger farmers to build their business is another important facet of this CSR initiative.