Plenty Foods Ltd., a subsidiary of Ceylon Biscuits Limited (CBL), a company that is in the forefront of ensuring farmer welfare within its business model, recently engaged in a social service initiative among the farmers of Mahaweli H Zone, who were severely affected by the recent bad weather conditions.
This welfare program was carried out under the concept of the ‘Govi Pawula’ scheme (Farmer Family), a community outreach and social services initiative targeting the agricultural community linked with Plenty Foods.
This scheme is driven by Plenty Foods under the theme ‘We are your strength; you are the strength of our nation’. The significance of this scheme is that it has been nurtured by a private sector company sans any influence or pressure from any national stakeholder and carried out without any profit motives in the agenda.
Under this initiative, Plenty Foods took measures to encourage the farmers who were affected by bad weather conditions by donating dry rations and agri equipment that were the need of the hour.
More than 1,300 farmer families who cultivated predominantly soya in areas such as Thalawa, Eppawala, Nochchiagama, Thambuththegama, Galnewa, Horigaswewa, and Kalankuttiya were the beneficiaries of this initiative. Their crops were severely destroyed and livelihoods were badly affected as a result of bad weather conditions. Plenty Foods Director/Chief Executive Officer Shammi Karunaratne discussing this initiative said: “It is our duty and obligation to take care of the farmer community that is an absolute strength to this country. They are the unsung heroes of this land. We strongly believe we should lend them a helping hand when they are in need. We try to contribute in deed and kind when their harvest is destroyed due to natural or any other disaster.”
According to Karunaratne, the company has channelled more than Rs. 6 million towards this project.
With a strong national business agenda in mind, Plenty Foods has been associating very closely with more than 8,000 farmer families for more than two decades and is the proud owner of food brands such as Samaposha, 4GB, and On The Go. The raw material required to process these food items, namely, corn, rice, soya and green gram, are purchased from these farmers under a backward integrated contract scheme that gives the benefits of fluctuating market and price conditions to the farmer.
‘Govi Pawula’ or ‘Farmer Club’ is the community outreach initiative introduced by Plenty Foods in order to uplift the social-economic conditions of the farmers registered under their backward integration project.
There are four branches under ‘Govi Pawula,’ namely, ‘Govi Denuma,’ which enhances the agricultural knowhow of the farmer, ‘Govi Sarana,’ which provides assistance to them in the hour of need, ‘Govi Sathuta,’ which provides social bonding and integration to the farmer community, and ‘Govi Arana,’ which takes care of the farmer community’s religious and spiritual needs. All four elements are powered by the generous contributions of Plenty Foods Limited.