Bogawantalawa Tea Estates Plc (BTE PLC) has yet again reaffirmed to be the leader in a closely competed global industry by obtaining a series of international social accountability certificates for industry best practices.
The acquisition of Social Accountability 8000 Certificate made BTE the only company in Sri Lanka to receive an international certification of the highest calibre in recognition of its compliance with the United Nations’ universal declaration on human rights. SA 8000 also complies with the prerequisites of the ILO, encapsulating elements such as freedom of association, non-discrimination, wage & benefits, fair working hours and health & safety. BTE is among 4 tea companies in the world; one being Tata teas and 2 other Kenyan companies, who has achieved this prestigious social accountability certification so far.
BTE Director and Chief Executive Officer Sarath Fernando said: “BTE has established a strong business connectivity with the employees and trade unions by empowering them, adopting a transparent management systems, encouraging teamwork and establishing business integrity. Stemming from a Strong belief that we need to safeguard the hands that serve us and the land that feeds us, BTE has taken necessary steps to align our business practices with global social accountability standards and constantly and continuously work towards achieving these requirements.”
Apart from the above, BTE has also obtained Fair-Trade Multi Estate Certificate (from FLO) for 7 of its estates and factories for complying with and maintaining consistent social, economic and environmental parameters across board. The benefits of FLO certification is diligently passed-on to the true custodians of the certification, the employees, in the form of activities pertaining to socio-economic value addition and environmental conservation.
BTE is also the proud recipient of The Ethical Tea Partnership (ETP) certification, which is obtained through an alliance of tea packers who are working together to improve the sustainability of the global tea industry. The ETP members share a vision of a thriving industry that is socially just and environmentally sustainable.
Fernando reminiscing about the glamour their teas has brought in for the country said that BTE was the only tea brand in the world that was selected to present its finest brew to the special invitees of the Nobel Cap Party that followed the Nobel Prize awards 2010.
BTE emerged the runner-up of the National Business Excellence Awards 2010 for its business and financial performance, global reach, knowledge and technology integration, capacity building among employees, corporate governance and corporate social responsibility.
With the right employees trained for right skills and competencies and with right processes and certifications in place BTE has become the No. 1 supplier of pure Ceylon tea to the US market, the number one own-brand tea supplier to the Japanese market and the largest supplier of private label teas to the Dutch market.