Leading beverage companies in Sri Lanka have come together for the first time in the history of the sector to form The Beverage Association of Sri Lanka (BAOSL). The association has been formed with the aim of providing a vital platform for the sector, whilst championing the contribution of its members towards the country’s economic sustainability. The BAOSL currently consists of Ceylon Cold Stores PLC (manufacturer and marketer of Elephant House Beverages), Coca-Cola Beverages Sri Lanka Limited and Varun Beverages Lanka Limited (the manufacturer and marketer of Pepsi Cola Inc beverages).
BAOSL is expected to raise the profile of a sector that has been a key contributor to the national economy over the years. Jit Guneratne, Chairman of the BAOSL commented: “We are delighted to announce the launch of the Beverage Association of Sri Lanka. It is heartening to see all the beverage firms forge a common bond and unite to form the association which will strengthen the voice of the sector and accord the sector its due status. The beverage sector is a valuable employment generator, heavy investor in technology and retail network development, and an environmentally conscious entity. We are confident that the formation of this body will provide a strong platform for the industry and its players who remain closely engaged with all stakeholders.”
It is pertinent to note that the sector has made heavy capital investments in machinery and technology over the decades. The industry is a key contributor to the national exchequer and thereby to the economic development of the country. The beverage industry provides employment to nearly 1,500 individuals who are directly employed by these companies whilst simultaneously creating indirect employment for 3,000 more. Moreover, member companies are responsible for providing trading opportunities to over 75,000 retailers.
The BAOSL will engage with stakeholders of the sector and bring to light the contribution made by the industry, for example, in ensuring proper storage and quality of beverages, through the provision of aids such as coolers and racks.
Further, Guneratne added: “The BAOSL will play the role of mentor and guide for the industry and ensure compliance and quality at all times. The convergence of leading companies on the BAOSL platform will be of infinite help in making representations to the government authorities on behalf of the industry, members of which were fending for themselves individually in the past.