Nestle Lanka PLC, the largest private collector of fresh milk in the country has significantly reduced its dairy imports, having increased its local fresh milk procurement by some 35%, officials said. “We are now using more local products in our manufacturing processes and our imports of dairy products have dropped significantly in the first half of this year,” Alois Hofbauer, Managing Director of Nestle Lanka PLC told the Business Times on the sidelines of a media conference recently.
He said that the company daily purchases 125,000 litres of milk through 115 chilling centres and over 1000 collection centres in the country and that its payments to dairy farmers has seem a increase by 58% during the first six months of this year. “Nestle has always had a strong, long-term commitment to the country and its people. Over the past 100 years, we have partnered Sri Lanka in growth and development through the good times and the bad, in times of conflict and peace.
We have been strongly involved in ‘creating shared value’ by creating sustainable business relationships with our Sri Lankan community – a drive that has earned us the title of ‘local multinational’”, he noted. In 2011, Nestle initiated a 10 billion-rupee investment in Sri Lanka of which almost one third is directed towards dairy development and dairy based products.
“Out of the Rs 3.2 billion invested by Nestle in Sri Lanka over the last 18 months, Rs 1.9 billion has been invested in the local manufacture of milk based products,” Mr. Hofbauer added.
Ruwan Welikala, Assistant Vice President at Nestle Lanka PLC added that the company’s milk processing facility in Kurunegala is running at full capacity due to its increased intake of local fresh milk and around 90% of its topline is made at this factory.