Since establishing in Sri Lanka over 125 years, Unilever Sri Lanka acknowledged the effort contributed to it by its local suppliers.
In a special ‘Supply Chain Business Partner Award Ceremony’ held recently at the Cinnamon Grand, Unilever presented awards to a number of its suppliers in appreciation of their work. Though this was the first time such a ceremony was held for its suppliers, Unilever is planning to host this event every coming year.
Unilever, despite the advantage of being able to tap into cheaper international suppliers – especially from India – has always focused on working with the local suppliers and does 90% of its procurement with the local suppliers. It has always worked openly and willingly with local suppliers, diligently ironing out the many problems local suppliers face when supplying a multinational as Unilever.
This award ceremony highlighting the positive attributes and the potential of the local suppliers comes at the best possible time with the eye of the world investor turned towards Sri Lanka with the end of its 30-year war against terrorism.
The ‘Best A-Rated for Quality Supplier 2010’ was awarded to JF Packaging (Pvt.) Ltd., which in a relatively short span of time had been established as its regular supplier for flexible packaging.
In its annual supplier audits, Unilever had calculated the maximum mark of 100% for JF Packaging and also the rejection and damages percentage of its goods had always fallen far below Unilever’s stance.
Furthermore, Unilever found JF Packaging to be a forward-thinking company. While Unilever is planning to ensure that all its suppliers are ISO 22000:2005 certified by the end of 2011, JF Packaging is already certified as such since 2008.
Managing Director of JF Packaging Lakshman de Fonseka commenting on the award said that this award was a symbol of the encouragement Unilever had always bestowed on the company.
Quoting his host’s tagline, ‘Adding Vitality to Life,’ he commented that the tagline was not only applicable to Unilever customers, but also to its suppliers as well. In his 14 years in the industry, he said that Unilever was one client – from all levels right up to the Chairman – which had always treated its suppliers with dignity and professionalism and that it had always been a pleasure and a privilege to work with the Unilever team.
He was very appreciative of Unilever for organising the awards event and thereby recognising JF Packaging as a valued contributor in the Unilever process chain. He said this experience had given him and his team fresh hope and provided them with new ideas for the future.
He continued that JF Packaging had always strived to provide the best possible for its clients and that it had always been the multinationals that had guided his company to the way forward.
While paying tribute to all his clients for his company’s success, he was especially appreciative of Nestlé Lanka PLC for it was its guidance that prompted JF Packaging as the first company in a non-food processing industry to comply with Food Safety Standard Requirements laid down in standards such as HACCP as well as ISO 22000:2005 certification.
This award that Unilever presented is especially appreciated as JF Packaging is on the eve of embarking on its most ambitious project to date, which is an expansion with brand new European machinery installed in the newly designed state-of-the-art factory, he added.