Minister of Rural Economic Affairs P. Harrison entering the Nestlé Lanka Kurunegala factory with Nestlé Managing Director Shivani Hegde and Nestlé officials
Minister of Rural Economic Affairs P. Harrison tasting a Nestlé product at a sensory lab at the Nestlé Lanka Kurunegala factory. Looking on are Nestlé Managing Director Shivani Hegde and Nestlé officials
Visits factory in wake of accelerated investments in dairy by the company
Minister of Rural Economic Affairs P. Harrison commended Nestlé’s contribution to the Sri Lankan dairy industry during a recent visit to Nestlé’s factory in Kurunegala.
The company, which is Sri Lanka’s largest private sector collector of fresh milk, contributed Rs. 3.6 billion in 2015 to almost 20,000 local farmers as payment for fresh milk, to manufacture its products like Nespray, Milo and Milkmaid. The company has focused on manufacturing products locally, largely using local ingredients.
This year, the company is expanding its milk procurement network in the north and developing the potential of the region, which accounts for 22% of the country’s cattle. Nestlé also recently launched ‘Kiri Govi Diriya’ in celebration of its 150th anniversary worldwide and 110 years locally.
The island wide initiative commits to 150 training and development programmes to help 3,000 dairy farmers learn about modern technologies and best practices, and produce more milk of higher quality. 150 of these farmers are also benefiting from essential milking equipment to help develop their business.
Said Harrison: “Nestlé has a long and rich history with Sri Lanka’s dairy industry. The company has been working together with the government and local farmers since the early 1980s. I am pleased to note that Nestlé continues to accelerate and strengthen its efforts in this area, not only helping to increase the supply and quality of local milk, but helping the country become self-sufficient in milk, providing local farmers a livelihood that is sustainable, and offering consumers a range of products made with local fresh milk. With the government’s intervention, we will strongly support Nestlé in its efforts to develop the local dairy industry.”
Nestlé holds training and development programmes for farmers year on year on a range of technical topics and best practices, including cattle feeding and breeding, and animal health and farm management. It even provides financial assistance to develop dairy farms, promote artificial insemination for breeding high-yield cows, and facilitate mobile veterinary clinics together with the Government.
“We will further extend our support to the company by looking into the welfare of Nestlé’s dairy farmers by providing more technicians to train them on artificial insemination and recruiting additional veterinary physicians to tend to their cattle,” the Minister added.
Said Nestlé Managing Director Shivani Hegde: “Because of our strong bond with the local community and deep insight of their needs, developing Sri Lanka’s dairy industry has always been close to Nestlé’s heart. It gives me great pleasure to know that our efforts to positively impact our farmers’ livelihoods and develop the local dairy industry has been recognised and acknowledged by the Government. We will continue to work closely with them and continue to enhance the quality of life of the people of Sri Lanka.”
Witnessing Nestlé’s entire manufacturing process, and noting its cutting edge technology and stringent quality control procedures, the Minister went on to commend Nestlé’s high quality and food safety standards, for which it is renowned across the world.