President Mahinda Rajapaksa at a ceremony at Temple Trees recently awarded Kotagala Plantations PLC as winner of the highest crop productivity – tea amongst regional plantation companies.
Kotagala Plantations CEO R.C. Peries receiving the award from President Rajapaksa
The Kotagala Plantations Up Country sector consists of 10 plantations which is 2268 hectaresin extent with 86% of its total hectarage in high yielding VP tea. Nine of the plantations yielded over 2000 KPH. The majority of the factories have qualified for ISO 22000:2005 and ISO 9001:2008 certification.
Kotagala Plantations Low Country consists of five tea-cum-rubber plantations and seven rubber plantations where the annual production is four million kilograms of rubber. Padukka Estate, Padukka produces internationally recognised quality, Sole Crepe. 300 hectares have been planted in oil palm and it is projected that 1000 hectares of oil palm is to be planted by 2015.
Dambatenna Estate of Agarapatana Plantations Ltd. received the award for the largest tea production factory in the Bandarawela region. Dambatenna is situated at an elevation of 5138 ft. above mean sea level and its factory was constructed in 1890 by Sir Thomas Lipton. It is a well known feature that the original owner of Liptons started his business of tea from this factory. This factory is 345 feet in length and with a square area of 27,700 square feet.
Since 1996, a well planned development program has been undertaken which enable it to manufacture over one million kilograms of made tea from season 2007/2008. In season 2010/2011 the total production was 1.7 million kilograms of made tea which is the largest quantity of made tea manufactured at a factory of any regional plantation company in the high grown category.
This factory has received the ISO 22000:2005 and ISO 9001:2008 certification and the prestigious Rainforest Alliance certification too. The Dambatenna tea factory with its Garden Mark of Bandara Eliya, is a state-of-art factory with the worldwide reputation for the quality of tea produced throughout the year, and continues to receive international patronage.