Working under the brand of Lankem Tea and Rubber Plantations (Pvt) Ltd., Kotagala Plantations PLC is Sri Lanka’s leading tri-crop company, renowned for the production of high-quality Pure Ceylon Tea and Natural Rubber. Placing the core values of integrity, courage and commitment on the pedestal of its success, the company focuses on the technical and innovative development, at the same time highlighting their responsibility towards the employees and society.
Increased tea yields due to investments in technology and personnel training
The company’s tea plantations are spread on more than 2.600 hectares, in the western high-grown Dimbula District and the low-grown Kalutara area, providing a significant amount of the overall Sri Lankan tea production, frequently exceeding the average national yield. Sunil AbeyRatna, Managing Director, points out, “Considering the yields at national level, Kotagala performed better than the average, adding 5.5 million kilograms of both low and high-grown tea to national production. An additional 1.5 million kilograms of green leaf, also known as Bought Leaf, was purchased from smallholder growers. This year, nine out of ten high-grown Estates recorded yields of over 2.000 kilograms per hectare”.
The company is highly engaged in the development of innovative technologies and management strategies, such as shear plucking which improved the intake of green leaf. Sunil AbeyRatna, points out, “All nine upcountry Tea factories carry ETP certification. Seven of them have received ISO22000:2005 and ISO9001:2008 certification”. Rainforest Alliance Group Certification covers five of the High-Grown Estates. Kotagala focuses significant attention on the support of its employees and associates, providing welfare activities such as building housing units, playgrounds, child development centres, offering financial assistance for children’s education and free medical healthcare services. This provided better life quality for over 50.000 associates.
Producing natural rubber with outstanding quality
Kotagala Plantations is the country’s major manufacturer of natural rubber, providing nearly three million kilograms of rubber annually and holding 3% of the island’s total production”, Sunil AbeyRatna emphasizes. The company possesses a rubber plantation extent of over 3.500 hectares and manufacturing units highly equipped with state-of-the-art technology. The company has also made an acquisition of 3.000 hectares in Kompong Thom, Cambodia, as their first off-shore manufacturing facility.
Sunil AbeyRatna concludes, “Considering the current situation on the international markets, we recede from the promotion of rubber as a commodity, presenting natural rubber as a technically specified industrial raw material which will meet the specifications and requirements of the end user”.
The company has also diversified into planting of Oil Palm in some low country areas. 528 hectares have already been established, the target being 1.300 hectares under Oil Palm.