Sri Lanka’s pioneering sustainable seafood farming company, Taprobane Seafood Group (TSG) proudly unveiled an eventful occasion on July 22 at the Mannar Public Ground in commemoration of its eighth anniversary.
The milestone event hosted by media mogul J. Yogaraj underpinned the platform for a tapestry of musical, theatrical and phenomenal dance performances, the staging of cultural heritage and stimulating sporting challenges to display diverse talents and artistry of its employees attached to eight processing facilities throughout Northern and Northwestern Provinces.
The celebrations kicked off with the unfurling of the national and TSG flags amidst a distinguished gathering including Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Development Minister Gamini Vijith Wijayamuni Zoysa, State Minister Dilip Wedaarachchi, MPs Selvam Adaikalanathan and Charles Nirmalanathan, Northwestern Provincial Minister Sumal Tissera, Mannar Urban Council Chairman Gerard, NAQDA Chairman Madawan Arachchi, Fisheries Department Managing Director Marcus, V. Ketheeswaran from the Manthai West Divisional Secretariat, Malith Fernando from Manish Group and officials representing the National Aquatic Resources Research and Development Agency (NARA).
The high-ups were then escorted to light the traditional oil lamp to the tribal drumming of bejewelled Kandyan dancers twirling in elaborative garb. Once they settled in their allotted seats, a troupe representing TSG performed a Bharatanatyam act, a pre-eminent Indian classical dance form, as the curtain-raiser.
Addressing the gathering, Minister Zoysa lauded the untiring efforts of TSG to resolve the pressing issue of unemployment in the country. He also underscored the yeoman services rendered by the corporate giant to a socially-responsible nation.
“Sri Lanka is a strategic location, well-endowed with natural resources. However, people seek employment across borders owing to the dearth of greener pastures in the country. A majority of these job aspirants is hired as housemaids. Thanks to the dignified jobs offered by Taprobane Seafood Group, the number of migrant workers has plummeted steeply. Over the years, TSG has recruited at least 1500 youths, and this sum will soar to as high as 10,000 in the event 3,000 more acres are acquired for seafood farming. TSG has also pledged to generate a staggering US$ 1 billion in annual revenue through canned crabs, thus liberating Sri Lanka from the gaping maws of commercial loans,” he said.
Fostering friendly rivalry among its employees, TSG organised several games including Football, tug-of-war and Elle at the event laden with much pomp and pageantry. While many vying participants registered thrilling victories, others displayed true sportsmanship.
Adding glamour to this enthralling encounter was ‘TSG Arunalu,’ the inaugural annual scholarship scheme launched for the children of TSG employees who excel at the Grade 5 Scholarship, Ordinary Level and Advanced Level examinations. In a bid to guide and empower the graduated children of its staffers, Taprobane has decided to provide management trainee placements. They will be absorbed into the permanent cadre based on performance. However, the day’s proceedings culminated with a grand musical extravaganza.
Taprobane Seafood Group was founded in 2011 by Timothy O’ Reilly and Dilan Fernando with the shared vision of reaching the highest standards of sustainable seafood farming. It is the first Sri Lankan entity to receive the most prestigious certification for food standards (FSSC-22000). In 2014, Taprobane clinched the Presidential Award for the Highest Foreign Exchange Earner in the seafood sector.