Finlay Tea Estates Lanka (Pvt) Ltd., which manages Hapugastenne Plantations PLC, was awarded the prestigious National Plantation Award 2012 for Forestry Management, Environmental Friendliness and Self-Sufficiency in Energy’ of the Regional Plantation Company sector by President Mahinda Rajapaksa recently at a ceremony held at the Temple Trees.
The Shawlands Estate Tea Factory in Lunugala was adjudged the ‘Best Tea Factory’ of Uva Medium Category, Bandarawela Region.
Finlay, which manages 24 estates in four different regions in the country, recognises forestry as part of its core business alongside tea and rubber. It currently manages 2,792 hectares of forests which comprise of 1,653 hectares of timber and fuel wood and 1,139 hectares of protected conservation forest areas.
Finlay has invested in a Global Positioning System (GPS), a space-based satellite navigation system and geographic information system (GIS), using new technology for its forestry management division to ensure scientific management of forest plantations on their estates.
The company uses Rainforest Alliance’s (RA) stringent criteria of sustainability as their benchmark and Hapugastenne Plantations was the first to attain RA accreditation in Sri Lanka with their Passara region estates. Nine estates in Hali Ela and Passara groups are now Rain forest Alliance certified. Shawlands Estates Tea Factory has shown a strong commitment to producing top quality tea, consistently. Good manufacturing practices, attention to health and safety, controls and initiatives to ensure a hygienic environment have all contributed to the factory achieving the National Plantation Award for ‘Best Tea Factory’ of Uva Medium Category, Bandarawela Region. The tea factory is Rainforest Alliance, ISO 22000: 2005, CQC 2 Star, ISO 9001-2000, HACCP and ETP accredited.