Strathspey Estate, managed by Maskeliya Plantations PLC, which is owned by Richard Pieris Group of Companies, recently celebrated the 150th anniversary of the tea industry and 25th anniversary after the privatization of estates from Sri Lanka State Plantations Corporation and Janatha Estates Development Board, at the Cultural Hall.
The celebrations were held under the leadership of Maskeliya Plantations PLC Chief Executive Officer Manoj Pathiraja and Director Operation Vipula Pusselle.
The Strathspey Estate superintendent, assistant superintendents, past and present staff and workers and well-wishers participated in this great memorable, milestone and unique event.
Commenting on this momentous occasion, Pathiraja said, “Our company is a diversified plantations industry, which has been critical to the socio-economic development of many countries and is the focal point of the global food industry as we cope with climate change and increasing global population with demands that strain the current food supply chain. It is a business that embraces the well-being of the people and planet as our sustainability is inextricably interwoven with the land and employees. Our company can easily be categorized as one of the largest employees working in the tea industry. As always, the human resources factor in the company has been identified as the most critical component and assets for success of its operations. Having identified this, steps had been taken to improve the living standards and the quality of lifestyle of both the employees and workers’ families with the assistance of the Hill Country New Villages, Ministry of Infrastructure and Community Development, in collaboration with the Plantation Human Development Trust. We rely on the employees as 99 percent of them reside on the estates and have access to a variety of welfare services/primary healthcare provided free of charge. We rely on them for our growth and the performances and seek to empower them to reach their full potential. Very competent medical and welfare staff look after their needs.”
“Maskeliya Plantations PLC has focused on the role as a producer with expertise in agriculture but is reviewing strategic options to capture the value addition aspects of the supply chain. We are committed to our long-term vision of a profitable company that sets the benchmarks for operational excellence in the country. Our focus on the triple bottom line approach will continue to be the foundation for our corporate philosophy and strategic direction as we focus on development of our employees and the land to yield sustainable earnings and growth in the coming years.”
Among the awards received are the International Standard Organisation (ISO) 22000; 2005, Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP), Fairtrade Labeling Organisation (FLO), Ceylon Quality Certificate (CQC), Ethical Tea Partnership (ETP), Cleaner Production Productivity (CPP), Environmental Certificate and Rainforest Alliance (RA) certified factories in producing world best high-quality teas, which is very famous in the local and in international (global) tea markets.
The longstanding present and past staff and workers were recognized for their immeasurable contribution afforded to Maskeliya Plantations PLC and to the Sri Lankan tea industry. They were honoured with valuable gifts. In addition to this, the best harvesters in all six divisions of Strathspey estate were identified and facilitated with valuable prices for their achievements to mark gratitude towards this momentous occasion.
In addition to this, dry rations too had been issued to the pensioners. A special meal was served to the Early Childhood Development Centres little children and preschool children.