Richard Pieris Plantations, the largest and strongest player in the plantation industry in Sri Lanka recognised its exceptional employees recently at the Company Auditorium in Nawinna, Maharagama.
Themed ‘Exceptional People – Traditional Champions,’ the inaugural awards ceremony was graced by Dr. Sena Yaddehige, Chairman of the Richard Pieris Group, as Chief Guest.
The Plantations Sector of Richard Pieris Group owns and manages Kegalle Plantations PLC, Namunukula Plantations PLC and Maskeliya Plantations PLC, the three largest publicly listed plantation companies with estates in Maskeliya, Thalawakelle, Kegalle, Udupussallawa, Uva, Bandarawela, Kalutara, Galle and Matara areas, producing tea, rubber, oil palm, coconut, spices, rambutan, plantains and fruits which play a vital part in the Sri Lankan export earnings, according to their annual reports.
Dr. Yaddehige, speaking at the inaugural awards ceremony, said: “Richard Pieris Plantations is renowned for its national economic contribution to attain socioeconomic wellbeing amongst the employee pool.”
He added: “I would like to commend the efforts of all plantations’ supervisors and managers in playing an integral part with contributions made in tea, rubber, coconut and palm oil sectors strengthening our country’s export earnings. It is our duty to recognise this valuable contribution as these are truly our ‘Exceptional People and Traditional Champions.’”
The awards ceremony appreciated high performance and commitment of the staff in the plantation sector. The estates’ contribution in strengthening the national economy, highest net profit earner, best financial performance, best agricultural practices, labour efficiency, waste management, lowest cost of production and production and manufacturing efficiency categories were evaluated to identify the exceptional performance.
Eladuwa Estate under Namunukula Plantations was adjudged the Best Performing Estate whilst Brunswick Estate under Maskeliya Plantations and Eadella Estate from the Kegalle Plantations received the first and second runners-up awards respectively.
The plantation sector of the Richard Pieris Group contributed 7.5% of the national tea production in 2009/10, whilst Kegalle and Namunukula Plantations produced 5% of the total rubber production in the country. In addition Namunukula Plantations produced 30% of the total national palm oil production in fresh fruit form.
The sector employs over 32,000 employees covering tea, rubber, oil palm and coconut crops with a land base of 33,000 hectares producing approximately 14 million kg of tea, 6.5 million kg of rubber, 14.7 million kg of oil palm and over one million coconuts in the year reviewed. Further, some of Sri Lanka’s finest high grown teas are produced by Maskeliya Plantations.
President Ceylon Chamber of Commerce Dr. Anura Ekanayake, Chairman Sri Lanka Tea Research Institute Dr. Jerry Jayawardena, Dean, Faculty of Engineering, University of Peradeniya Prof. Susantha Pathirana, Deputy Chairman Paul Ratnayeke, Chief Operating Officer of Richard Pieris and Company Pravir Samarasinghe, Chief Executive Officer of Maskeliya Plantaitons Sunil Jayakoddy, Chief Executive Officer of Kegalle and Namunukula Plantations Sunil Poholiyadde, Chief Financial Officer Plantations Lilanthi Herath and the Board of Directors of the Group attended this special occasion.