Expanded capacity enables the company to explore new markets beyond 50 countries it is currently serving
Nestlé Lanka has invested over Rs. 6.6 billion in Sri Lanka over the past five years
by Sanath Nanayakkare
Nestlé Lanka yesterday reaffirmed its commitment towards Sri Lanka by investing over Rs. 2 billion in its state-of-the-art factory in Kurunegala by building a new Vacuum Band Dryer (VBD).
Aimed at expanding the capacity of its manufacturing facility for malted food, this investment would further strengthen the company’s efforts of positively impacting Sri Lanka and its people.
The new VBD will increase the production capacity of two of its biggest brands – Nestlé Nestomalt and Milo, allowing the Company to explore the opportunity of expanding its exports to several new markets, beyond the 50 countries it is currently serving.
Nestlé Lanka’s Kurunegala factory manufactures over 90% of Nestlé products sold in the country, employing strict quality controls. Aged 115 years, the ‘Good food, Good life’ company has become an integral part of Sri Lankan lives and contributes to the livelihoods of more than 25,000 Sri Lankan dairy and coconut farmers and out-growers and provides direct employment to over 800. Over the past five years, the company has consistently invested in the country, amounting to over Rs. 6.6 billion.
First of its kind in the local Food & Beverage industry, the Swiss-designed Vacuum Band Dryer adopts the latest technology and helps the company deliver more of its much-loved brands – Nestlé Nestomalt and Nestlé Milo enriched with Iron and Vitamin D.
An event was held at Nestlé Lanka’s Kurunegala factory yesterday to mark the inauguration of this project, by laying the foundation stone of the building which would house the new VBD.
The event was attended by Minister of Industries and Plantations, Dr. Ramesh Pathirana; Swiss Ambassador to Sri Lanka and the Maldives, Dominik Furgler; Member of Parliament, Anura Priyadarshanayapa and Director General of the Board of Investments, Renuka Weerakone along with officials from Nestlé Lanka.
Addressing the gathering, chief guest, Minister of Industries and Plantations, Dr. Ramesh Pathirana said, “Economic prosperity is driven by investment which not only improves capacity, but also enhances people’s quality of life. Therefore, I consider it an honour to be present at this event today, as one of Sri Lanka’s leading companies announces an investment worth over Rs. 2 billion. I am also glad to note that this investment would ultimately increase the company’s export potential, as foreign exchange is imperative for economic growth at present.”
Member of Parliament, Anura Priyadarshanayapa said “As a company with deep roots in the country for 115 long years, Nestlé Lanka has consistently invested in Sri Lanka with purpose. The trust the company has placed in the country’s potential is truly inspirational. I look forward to witnessing the positive ripple effect this investment will bring forth to our communities and the economy, in the years to come.”
“We are currently facing several economic volatilities, both short and long term, and the role played by capital investments is vital in supporting economic recovery and growth. Therefore, we appreciate Nestlé Lanka’s efforts in strengthening its investments in Sri Lanka, as it echoes a positive message about the potential of the country, encouraging further investments” said Renuka Weerakone, Director General, Board of Investments Sri Lanka.
Jason Avanceña, Managing Director of Nestlé Lanka said, “Although this is a challenging time for all of us in Sri Lanka, we believe in the country’s resilience, potential and its future wholeheartedly. We reaffirm our commitment to Sri Lanka, and we will continue to invest in our facilities and bring top Swiss-designed technology to cater to the different needs of our consumers in Sri Lanka. On behalf of Nestlé Lanka, it is a great pride for me to announce this investment and expansion of our malted food category. This investment is testament to our unwavering commitment towards the country and cements our deep roots with Sri Lankans for over 115 years. We hope to positively contribute to our consumers and communities through this investment, by increasing the production capacity of two of our biggest brands – Nestlé Nestomalt and Milo. We are also happy to share with you that this investment would also allow us to explore the opportunity of expanding our exports to several new markets, beyond the 50 countries we are currently serving, helping us contribute to the generation of foreign currency inflow.”