Pelwatte Dairy on quest to making Sri Lanka self-sufficient in milk | Daily News

Pelwatte Dairy on quest to making Sri Lanka self-sufficient in milk

Pelwatte Corporate team
Pelwatte Corporate team

Pelwatte Dairy Industries Ltd, a leading manufacturer of locally produced dairy products has since its inception supported the local dairy industry and is on a quest to making Sri Lanka self-sufficient in milk.

“According to local statistics Sri Lanka spends 400 million dollars annually to import more than 80,000 tonnes of milk powder and milk based products.

It is indeed a sad state of affairs that such a large sum of money is drained out of the country every year, especially when Sri Lanka is in possession of all resources necessary to be self-sufficient in milk.

All facilities, highest grade cattle, ample grazing grounds, and highly skilled traditional dairy farmers are all at our disposal.

Yet, we rely on unhealthy, chemically enhanced milk foods that are imported in to the country,” said Chairman, Ariyaseela Wickramanayake.

Taking on this mission of uplifting the dairy industry in Sri Lanka, Pelwatte Dairy at present directly employs 350 people while 25,000 farmers and their families are benefitted indirectly by the company’s efforts.

Almost 150,000 -200,000 liters of milk is collected per day at collections points situated in close proximity to dairy farming communities, before being transported to the Pelwatte Dairy factory in Buttala.

Many of Pelwatte Dairy’s direct employees have been with the company right from the start supporting the management’s noble vision. Another factor that has ensured the company’s high retention rate is that each employee is considered a vital part of the network and is treated with the utmost respect.

All employees and their families are covered with health insurance, while all products are made available to employees are concessionary rates. An employee welfare association also ensures that the wants and needs of each employee are looked in to constantly.

Pelwatte Dairy has become such a part and parcel of people’s lives that 72-year old M. G. Chandrasena who is the current Executive Director has been involved with the company from the very beginning.

He started off as the General Manager when the company commenced operations in 2008 by taking over a land in the Moneragala District which was an area reserved as a junk yard. After laying the foundation he was involved in all the tasks of importing machinery, installation, starting the farm, training the youth for the dairy industry and much more to get the constructions of Plant 1 done and initiate productions.

In an area where employment was so difficult for the youth he was involved in recruiting and training from the casual worker to the graduates from that area.

Pelwatte Dairy created many job opportunities in that area and has gone on to produce world class dairy products in Moneragala with the involvement of the locals.

Chandrasena is today the most senior dairy farm manager in the country. Although he has completed 70 years and wanted to resign in April this year, the management decided to keep him longer due to his valuable input to the dairy industry.

Aiming to create a positive attitude towards locally produced dairy products, healthy and safe Pelwatte Dairy milk powder, butter, yoghurt, ice cream, pasteurized milk, and vanilla or chocolate flavoured milk is made using milk freshly collected and used within 24 hours.

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