Silvermill Group’s Presidential Export Awards
Silvermill Group of Companies won a total of 5 presidential export awards at a gala event held on August 9th.
In attendance at this occasion, organized by Export Development Board of Sri Lanka, was President Maithripala Sirisena and Navin Dissanayake, Minister of Plantation Industries.
S.A.Silva & Sons Lanka (Pvt) Ltd, the market leader in manufacture and export of desiccated coconut won 4 awards as the Highest Foreign Exchange Earner and Highest Value Added Exporter in the coconut kernel category for consecutive years 2014 and 2015. Thereafter, Silvermill Natural Beverages (Pvt) Ltd, who pioneered manufacture of value added coconut water in Tetra packs, was recognized as the Highest Value Added Exporter in the Food and other Beverages sector for 2015.
Silvermill, with its origins dating back to 1920, is one of the oldest coconut companies in the world. The Group has firmly placed Sri Lanka on the world map as a reliable source of high quality coconut products. These achievements were obtained despite several obstacles -a challenging environment of inconsistent raw material (coconut) supplies, high coconut prices verses other competing origins such as the Philippines and Indonesia caused by imposition of excessive import duties on edible oils, and outdated bureaucracy which does not promote a culture of value addition.
A spokesperson for the company observed that the coconut kernel sector offers tremendous potential to bring in a lot more foreign exchange to the country. Revenue from coconut kernel sector amounted to US$306 million in 2015 by the export of approximately 25 percent of the coconut crop, where the balance 75 percent of crop was consumed locally.
If a large quantity of raw material (coconuts) is available for the export industries, this sector has the potential of being the No. 1 foreign exchange earner among all agricultural crops. In this regard, we are thankful to Navin Dissanayake, Minister of Plantation Industries for his efforts to grow 80,000 acres of new coconut plantations in the North and East of Sri Lanka which willbe a tremendous boost to Sri Lanka in the years to come. “We wish to thank the dynamic Silvermill Team and our loyal customers without whom we would not have won these prestigious awards for 2014 and 2015” was the concluding remarks of Suresh Silva, Group CEO / MD at Silvermill.