President Mahinda Rajapaksa at a ceremony at Temple Trees recently, awarded Kotagala Plantations PLC as the winner of the Highest crop productivity-Tea amongst the Regional Plantation Companies.
The Kotagala Plantations Up Country sector consists of 10 plantations which is 2268 ha. in 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 & ISO 9001:2008 certification.
Kotagala Plantations PLC –Low Country consists of 5 Tea cum Rubber plantations and 7 Rubber plantations where the annual production is 4 Million kilograms of Rubber. Padukka Estate, Padukka produces Internationally recognized quality, Sole Crepe. 300 Ha. have been planted in Oil Palm and it is projected that 1000 ha. 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 sq.ft.
Since 1996 a well planned development programme has been undertaken which enable it to manufacture over one million kgs of made tea from season 2007/2008In season 2010/2011 the total production was 1.7 M. Kgs. 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 & ISO 9001:2008 certification and the prestigious Rainforest Alliance certification too.It could be said that the Dambatenna tea factory with its Garden Mark of "Bandara Eliya" is a state- of- art factory with the world wide reputation for the quality of tea produced through out the year, and continues to receive International patronage.