Fonterra Brands Sri Lanka, the dairy co-operative behind Anchor, recently surpassed the Rs. 3 billion investment-mark in its commitment to building a thriving local dairy industry and boosting the availability of high quality, local dairy nutrition for Sri Lankans.
These long-term initiatives span the breadth of the dairy value chain with the local dairy farmer at its centre.
From providing thousands of local farmer families with support to uplift milk productivity and milk quality, toproviding new farmers direct access to milk collection and chilling facilities, to investing in local dairy processing and storage facilities, to sustainable projects that benefit farmer families; three years of investment have led to a steady development in the local value chain.
Managing Director of Fonterra Brands Sri Lanka and the Indian Subcontinent, Sunil Sethi, said the dairy co-operative has beenenabling the country’s dairy industry to better meet national nutritional requirements.
“As we work towards building a thriving Sri Lankan dairy industry, increased and consistent demand for local, fresh dairynutrition is just as important as maintaining a steady supply of high quality products.Recognising this, we have most recently focused our investment instrengthening the reach of the dairy cold chain across the country, as well as supporting improvements in milk quality and collection,” said Sethi. In many regions across the country, limited chilling facilities prevent small stores and outlets from providing consumers with fresh dairy products such as yoghurts and flavoured milk.
“We embarked on a drive to expand reach and consumption ofour high quality local dairy nutrition in partnership with medium and small-scale outlets all over the island. Initially, we expanded our footprintby increasing the number of outlets offering these products from 25,000 to over 40000,” said Sethi.
This rapid expansion has resulted in the installation of over 3,000 chilling facilitiesin trade outlets over the past year, helping more people across Sri Lanka access the goodness of local dairy nutrition.
This expansion has also supported traders in driving consumption of local dairy products, with Fonterra’s teams regularly providing assistance to ensure safe storage, increase prominence of chilling facilities towards front of outlets and install attractive lighting and displays. In total, the co-operative has invested Rs. 1.7 billion indairy processing and cold chain infrastructure to drivedemand for high quality, locally-made dairy products and has over the last year paid out Rs. 1 billion to supplying local farmer families.
The dairy cooperative, together with theparticipationof the Department of Animal Production and Health and several universities has conducted over 5,000 trainings at the country’s first private sector demonstration and training farm in Pannala opened by Fonterra in 2016.
“Our commitment to the local dairy industry includes a clear focus on enriching the lives of our dairy farmer communities, and is vital in fulfilling our purpose of building a healthier and happier Sri Lanka. Our community projects around water, sanitation and infrastructure development have already shown sustainable changes, positively impacting more than 60,000 people in our dairy farmer communities,” said Sethi.