The company says the new facility will help farmers keep their milk fresh at a temperature of 4° Celsius. Previously, facilities for storing fresh milk in the area resulted in low quality and wastage.
Each Nestlé chilling center is equipped with testing equipment and farmers are paid for the quality of milk they provide – the higher the quality, the higher the price they receive.
Long term investment in community
Nestlé has been working with Sri Lankan authorities since the early 1980s to help develop the dairy industry and address the need to produce more milk for market demands.
The company says it hopes to not only increase the supply and quality of milk but also provide local farmers a livelihood that is sustainable.
Nestlé holds training and development programs for farmers on technical topics and best practices, including cattle feeding, breeding, animal health and farm management. It also provides equipment and medicine, and financial assistance to develop dairy farms.
Expanding in the north
Shivani Hegde, Nestlé Lanka’s managing director, said the company was committed to providing Sri Lankan consumers with a range of products that also contribute to the rural economy.
“It is part of our ‘Creating Shared Value’ approach, where we believe that our business activities must also have a positive impact on the local community,” Hegde said.
This year, the company plans to expand its milk procurement network in the north of the country, which accounts for 22% of the country’s cattle.
Local optimism for facility
Ariyputhiran Krishnaseelan, a dairy farmer from Vaddakkachchi, is optimistic that the new facility will help revive the town’s dairy industry and benefit the farming community.
Nestlé has contributed $20m (LKR3.6bn) to almost 20,000 local farmers as payment for fresh milk, to manufacture its products like Nespray, Milo and Milkmaid.