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Oct 03, 2014

Nestlé Lanka – Celebrating 30 years of 'Empowering Sri Lankan Dairy Farmers'

Mr. Ganesan Ampalavanar – Managing Director of Nestlé Lanka PLC, Mr. Nimal Perera, Winner of Nestlé Lanka Best Dairy Farmer Award, Hon. Basil Rajapaksa – Minister of Economic Development and Mr. Bandula Egodage – Asst. Vice President, Corporate Affairs & Communications of Nestlé Lanka PLC.

A felicitation of 1,200 local dairy farmers for their outstanding contribution towards dairy development

Celebrating 30 years of 'Empowering Sri Lankan Dairy Farmers', Nestlé Lanka PLC felicitated 1,200 of its dairy farmers for their outstanding contribution towards the development of Sri Lanka's dairy industry under the patronage of Hon. Basil Rajapaksa, Minister of Economic Development.

Hon. Basil Rajapaksa, Minister of Economic Development of Sri Lanka stated, "Achieving self-sufficiency in local dairy production is a key national priority and the government of Sri Lanka appreciates all efforts made towards this ambition. Developing the local dairy industry will not only help a vital commodity like milk become more affordable and accessible to Sri Lankan consumers, but will also serve as an engine for economic growth and rural development. As Sri Lanka's largest private buyer of fresh milk, Nestlé plays a significant role in the development of the local dairy industry. The company's efforts to support and develop the local dairy industry positively impacts the lives of 18,000 dairy farmers across the country, helping them generate their own income and live a better quality of life. As Nestlé Lanka celebrates three decades of empowering our dairy farmers, I congratulate the company on reaching this monumental milestone and look forward to its continued commitment in uplifting the local dairy industry."

Nestlé Lanka commenced its partnership with local dairy farmers in 1984 with the establishment of its production factory in Pannala, Kurunegala. To date, the company purchases over 200,000 kilograms of fresh milk on a daily basis from 18,000 dairy farmers, making a significant impact in the rural economy. Nestlé also has 1,200 milk collection points based across the island, providing convenient access to the farmers to sell their milk to the company every day.

Ganesan Ampalavanar, Managing Director of Nestlé Lanka PLC said, "As we mark this significant milestone of celebrating 30 years of 'Empowering Sri Lankan Dairy Farmers', it is with a sense of heartfelt gratitude that we acknowledge the committed efforts of our Nestlé Lanka farmers who have been our partners in our journey thus far. Our farmers have played an integral role towards helping establish Nestlé Lanka as the largest private sector collector of fresh milk in Sri Lanka, enabling us to make remarkable progress in contributing towards the national vision of achieving self-sufficiency in fresh milk. We will continue on our path of Creating Shared Value in Sri Lanka, with a commitment of sourcing fresh milk locally and delivering on the promise we made 30 years ago, to empower Sri Lankan dairy farmers and nourish Sri Lanka with local fresh milk products of the highest quality."

Nestlé began collecting milk from the North and East in the mid-1980s, continuing to support the livelihoods of the farmers even during the conflict by collecting milk despite operational difficulties. Post conflict, Nestlé was the first company to move beyond collecting milk and begin dairy development initiatives in the North and East.

Ruwan Welikala, Assistant Vice President – Ambient Dairy of Nestlé Lanka PLC added, "The success stories of our dairy farmers bear ample testament to the significant impact we have been able to make in their lives, and it is humbling to see the development work we have undertaken over the last 30 years positively influencing the socio economic indicators of our country. Soon our country would be on the brink of achieving self-sufficiency in dairy and we can be proud of the contribution we have made towards this endeavour. Today, whenever a consumer picks up any of our products that bear the Nestlé 'Empowering Sri Lankan Dairy Farmers' logo, they can be confident that they are giving their family nothing but the best. While re-affirming our commitment to support sustainable dairy development in Sri Lanka, I wish our dairy farming families all success."

Nestlé has been in Sri Lanka for over one hundred years, committed towards enhancing the lives of the local community since the very beginning; 'creating shared value' every day. Commencing its journey of dairy development with the opening of its factory thirty years ago, Nestlé has made significant progress in contributing towards the nation's development, by not only sharing its expertise and knowledge as world leaders in food, but by also increasing local manufacturing and reducing imports. As a result, the sourcing and production of local fresh milk for the manufacturing of its dairy based products such as Nespray, Milkmaid, Nestomalt, Milo and Nescafé became a key priority for Nestlé Lanka, and its focus and commitment to Sri Lanka's dairy industry has never wavered since.

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