Merrill to receive 2015 Business for Peace Honour tomorrow in Oslo

Friday, 1 May 2015 00:02 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

Sri Lanka’s Merrill J. Fernando, the founder of Dilmah Tea, will be one the five honourees of the 2015 Business for Peace award of the Oslo-based Business for Peace Foundation. Nominated by the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce through the International Chamber of Commerce, Fernando will be bestowed with this honour tomorrow (2), which happens to be his 85th birthday. The 2015 Oslo Business for Peace award is an annual event and recognises the exceptional global business leaders who, through their own actions and commitments truly are business worthy, promoting socially responsible and ethical business practices in an outstanding way, and standing out as examples to the world. Honourees are selected by an independent committee of Nobel Prize winners in Peace and in Economics, after a global nomination process through its partners International Chamber of Commerce, UN Global Compact and UNDP. Fernando, who started his career as a tea taster, established his own tea brand Dilmah in 1988, which is today Sri Lanka’s single known brand of world repute and soon became a capable competitor with multinationals. Twenty-five years after the launch of Dilmah, its single-origin, unblended teas are now sold in nearly 100 countries. Fernando is known for sharing the earnings from his business with his staff and workers. As the business has grown, a minimum 10% of the pre‐tax profit is used to fund the work of his MJF Charitable Foundation, which emphasises the empowerment of differently able and underprivileged people in their communities with dignity and in a sustainable manner. Fernando is one among the five business leaders chosen as the ‘The 2015 Business for Peace Honourees’. Among the others rank figures such as Paul Polman of United Kingdom, who is the CEO of Unilever; Poman Lo, a Hong Kong-based businesswoman and Group Managing Director of Regal Hotels International; and Juan Andrés Cano, CEO of Semilla, an ethics consultancy, and Value4Chain firm, etc. The Ceylon Chamber of Commerce in a statement said: “Ceylon Chamber takes pride in being able to promote Sri Lankan business personalities to the highest level of international recognition and congratulates Fernando for being honoured with this prestigious international accolade, bringing honour to the nation and the entire business community of Sri Lanka. His commitment, dedication and determination is a true inspiration and an exceptional role-model for the Sri Lankan business community to follow.”