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Nestlé Lanka partners with Commercial Bank to drive sustainable dairy farming

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Nestlé Lanka and the Commercial Bank of Ceylon partnered to launch an initiative to support dairy farmers with concessionary finance to expand their operations and increase milk yield, in line with the purpose of implementing regenerative agricultural practices to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the dairy value chain.

To support Sri Lankan dairy farmers facilitate the necessary conditions and equipment in their farms to increase yield per cow, Nestlé Lanka formed a partnership with Commercial Bank to put together a value chain financing programme aimed at providing farmers with tailor-made financial solutions at a nominal interest rate. As part of the financing programme, Commercial Bank will also cover community development initiatives such as improving financial literacy and technical awareness of dairy farmers to support in uplifting their livelihoods. Nestlé aims at reaching 300 farmers through the financing programme by year end, from which 25 farmers are selected to benefit from the rollout of the first phase.

“In line with our steadfast commitment towards developing Sri Lanka’s dairy industry, we consistently help our farmer network to build a livelihood that is both profitable and sustainable. We are excited to work closely with the Commercial Bank of Ceylon on this financing programme, to not only support in uplifting the livelihoods of our dairy farmers, but also have a positive impact on the planet. Staying true to our purpose of ‘Unlocking the power of food to enhance quality of life for everyone, today and for generations to come’ we will work together with our partners and dairy farmers as we progress in our ambition of achieving net zero emissions by 2050”, said Mr. Bernie Stefan, Managing Director of Nestlé Lanka.

“As the largest private bank in Sri Lanka, Commercial Bank has always recognised the importance of providing inclusive financing solutions to rural communities of Sri Lanka that are mainly engaged in agriculture, livestock and micro businesses. We have set up special Agriculture and Microfinance Units (AMFU) to exclusively cater to this segment. The Bank is in the process of further expanding its AMFU operation to stimulate economic growth and to promote self-sufficiency in agri produce. A supply chain financing programme of this nature involving two highly reputed companies is the best response to the financial exploitation that is prevalent in underbanked and unbanked communities. It can enable these communities to access the formal financial system and be exposed to an environment that is catalytic in building their competitiveness”, said Mr. Sanath Manatunge, Managing Director / CEO of the Commercial Bank of Ceylon.

Having operated in Sri Lanka over 115 years, Nestlé supports the livelihoods of over 12,000 dairy farmers through the procurement of milk, contributing significantly to the local milk industry. With a vision of reaching net zero emissions by 2050, the company is committed towards adopting greener practices across the value chain, from farm to table. Driven by its purpose of ‘unlocking the power of food to enhance quality of life for everyone, today and for generations to come’, Nestlé has nourished generations of Sri Lankan families with high quality food and beverages from early childhood to old age.

The largest private sector bank in Sri Lanka, the first Sri Lankan bank to be listed among the Top 1000 Banks of the World and the country’s first 100% carbon neutral bank, Commercial Bank operates a strategically-located network of branches and 964 automated machines island-wide, and is the largest lender to Sri Lanka’s SME sector. Commercial Bank has the widest international footprint among Sri Lankan Banks, with 20 outlets in Bangladesh, a Microfinance company in Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar, and a fully-fledged Tier I Bank with a majority stake in the Maldives.

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