Tag Archives: elpitiya plantations

Aitken Spence Travels hosts Top Travel agents from Egypt

10 Dec

Aitken Spence Travels hosts Top Travel agents from Egypt

Top travel agents from Egypt were hosted in Sri Lanka by Aitken Spence Travels for a five-day educational tour in collaboration with the Sri Lankan Embassy in Cairo and airline partner Emirates Airlines recently. The objective of the familiarization visit was to give them a first-hand experience of the product on offer and ensure that all the agents are educated well in selling Sri Lanka as a leisure destination in Egypt.

Commenting about the destination and what they had experienced, the agents were full of praise at the natural beauty Sri Lanka has to offer. The varied attractions of lush green natural vegetation, misty cool green hill country, the abundant wild life and of course the sun kissed golden sandy beaches were greatly appreciated by the group. The group was of the opinion that Sri Lanka has a better product to offer than regional locations such as Bangkok, Malaysia & Singapore.

We will work closely with the travel agencies in Egypt to popularize Sri Lanka as a preferred leisure destination for Egyptian travelers. Sri Lanka being one of the safest destinations in the world along with its tropical attractions and easy access to visas with traditional Sri Lankan hospitality will be an ideal getaway to the Egyptian traveler.

Aitken Spence Travels the winner of the Presidential award for 3 consecutive years and the only DMC to enter the Hall of Fame as well as being the recipient of Sri Lanka Tourism Award for Professional Conference Organizer. The company was also the proud recipient of the prestigious PATA gold award in 2014 under the Environment – Ecotourism Project for an innovative excursion program developed together with the Elpitiya plantations.

Aitken Spence Travels is fully diversified in to every aspect of tourism related activities namely; Leisure, Eco, Adventure, MICE and Cruise. It is considered as the leader in destination management in Sri Lanka with its creative and innovative tours and services.

Aitken Spence Travels hosts President of the Lebanese Travel Agents Association to Sri Lanka

4 Dec
Lebanese Travel Agents Visiting Sigiriya

The President of the Lebanese Travel Agents Association, Mr. Jean Abboud along with other Lebanese tour agents visiting Sigiriya.

The President of the Lebanese Travel Agents Association, Mr. Jean Abboud along with a group of high profile Lebanese tour agents on an educational tour to Sri Lanka was welcomed and hosted by Aitken Spence Travels recently. The group’s main objective was to update themselves about the destination and explore possibilities of developing new tours based on their 14-year relationship with the company.

As the market leader that penetrated the Lebanese market way back in 2001, Aitken Spence Travels has enjoyed the first mover advantage and handles the bulk of the inbound Lebanese travelers to Sri Lanka. The country recorded over 3,700 Lebanese travelers last year and this number is currently growing at 20 per cent.

The Lebanese travelers prefer to travel to Sri Lanka specifically during Eid, Easter, Christmas and summer holidays which usually fall during June, July & August. Many honeymooners and groups prefer Sri Lanka as a destination and enjoy the many new attractions the country has to offer including shopping at all international branded stores.

Commenting on his visit to Sri Lanka President of the Lebanese Travel Agents Association, Mr. Jean Abboud said “I have been in love with Sri Lanka since my first visit way back in 2001. I could safely say that this is my second home. You have a beautiful country which is a tropical destination to many Lebanese who enjoy attractions such as the abundance of beautiful nature, the rich culture, the sandy beaches and the varied wild life Sri Lanka has to offer. So we need to look at creating more and more new tours highlighting these products to attract travelers from Lebanon that would further strengthen and grow the market”

“We have invested heavily in this market ever since we entered it. All our efforts through promotions, airline promotions and educating the agents has paid rich dividends in reaching the current position. We will not relay on our current laurels and will ensure that we further strengthen the relationships and develop more tours that would help us tap in to untapped potential travelers of Lebanon” stated Mr. Darell de Crusz AVP Marketing of Aitken Spence Travels.

Aitken Spence Travels the winner of the Presidential award for 3 consecutive years and the only DMC to enter the Hall of Fame as well as being the recipient of Sri Lanka Tourism Award for Professional Conference Organizer. The company was also the proud recipient of the prestigious PATA gold award in 2014 under the Environment – Ecotourism Project for an innovative excursion program developed together with the Elpitiya Plantations.

Aitken Spence Travels is fully diversified in to every aspect of tourism related activities namely; Leisure, Eco, Adventure, MICE and Cruise. It is considered as the leader in destination management in Sri Lanka with its creative and innovative tours and services. Partnered with the world’s largest tourism integrated company, TUI group, with over three decades of experience, the company is backed by a reputation of being the most professional in the business.

Sri Lanka’s Highest Yield from New Peacock Estate of Elpitiya Plantations

21 Apr

Executives and staff of New Peacock Estate-1 Copy - CopyMr. Senerath Pahathkumbura, the General Manager of New Peacock Estate and the Mid Country Cluster of Elpitiya Plantations PLC with the New Peacock Estate  Office Team

Aitken Spence Plantations managed Elpitiya Plantations PLC’s New Peacock Estate in Pussellawa recorded the highest ever yield-per-hectare of 3,008 Kgs/ha for the financial year 2014/15 in Sri Lanka for a tea plantation estate with an extent of over 260 ha. The achievement came in spite of the unfavorable weather conditions that prevailed in the region during the last four months of 2014.

New Peacock estate in the mid-country region continues to be one of Elpitiya’s exceptionally performing contributors of its 13 estates.

“Undertaking of best practices in agriculture as emphasized by the management, making available the essential inputs to the tea fields at the right time and the commitment of all executives, staff and workers in the estate made the results possible”, said Senerath Pahathkumbura, the General Manager in charge of New Peacock Estate and the Mid Country Cluster of Elpitiya Plantations PLC.

“In keeping with the policy of the Company,   our prime focus was to retain the workers available on the estate by giving them proper recognition and treating them as partners. To spearhead this acknowledgement across all levels, a number of benefits have been included in addition to the current welfare and social activities undertaken at the estate. Some of these benefits include workers’ name tags provided in all three languages and called by name; as well as uniforms for all workers, transport to workplace, rest rooms at all leaf weighing points with refreshment between meals during the rush cropping months”, added Mr. Pahathkumbura.

“All these measures have motivated the workers to improve their productivity and as a way forward, the Management continues to provide training to the workers in improving their skills and undertakes mechanical plucking and other agricultural works such as pruning, motorized spraying of foliar nutrients and fungicide. We would like to thank all those who have contributed in many ways to achieve the record and highest ever yield”, said Mr. Pahathkumbura.

New Peacock Tea Processing Centre produces approximately 1.2 Mn. Kgs of premium quality CTC teas per annum, and maintains the highest level of food safety standards. The estate is awarded with ISO 22000:2005, Rain Forest Alliance, Ethical Tea Partnership (ETF) and Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certificates, which have attracted the leading buyers’ support at the Colombo tea auctions, based on the merits of its quality.

Elpitiya’s estates are situated in the upper, mid and low country regions of Sri Lanka, cultivating tea, rubber, oil palm and coconut. The Company has a significant stake in Sri Lanka’s only privately-owned palm oil mill and operates several mini-hydro power plants. At the point of takeover by blue-chip conglomerate Aitken Spence in 1997, Elpitiya Plantations was dependent on tea. The new management embarked on a strategy of crop diversification, efficiency improvement and human resources development for the company’s growth.

New Peacock Estate, Punduloya, Sri Lanka

Aitken Spence Plantations making a difference in the Plantation sector

26 Jan

At Elpitiya Plantations PLC, sustainability is a part of everyday business. Elpitiya Plantations PLC ensures the sustainable development of our plantation by focusing their efforts on four main areas that encompass this – environmental sustainability, social welfare, early childhood development and infrastructure development.

Environmental sustainability

Elpitiya employs targeted interventions to minimize damage to the environment. One of their major focuses in this particular area is the increasing of the bio diversity of the plantation and thereby the conservation of the environment of the estates.

Aitken Spence Plantations adopts a variety of methods to reduce any soil pollution caused through the use of artificial fertilisers. One such method is site-specific fertilizing which provide only the required nutrients without excessive or blanket use of chemicals. In addition certain select plots also use organic fertilisers in a gradual move to replace chemicals, aiming towards sustainable and environmentally friendly agricultural practices. Compost pits are also maintained in the estates with the ambitious goal of eventually being able to replace one round of artificial fertilizers.

Aitken Spence Plantations through Elpitiya Plantations owns and manages a diversified portfolio of crops which includes tea, rubber, oil palm, and cinnamon. However, they are moving away from a monoculture system and are trying to increases the bio-diversity of the estates by implementing a polyculture method of agriculture. A polyculture method is one in which a diverse range of crops are planted in the estates instead of just the one crop (i.e. tea) which drastically reduces the spread of disease and resource depletion.

This would ensure environmental conservation and is a key part of achieving their goal of long term sustainability.

Social sustainability and child development

Elpitiya estates employ 8000 individuals who live and work on the 13 estates under their purview.  At EPP, they ensure that several initiatives are in place to improve the working and living conditions of the staff and their communities.

In light of this, Elpitiya provides health facilities including pre-natal and antenatal clinics on all their estates that also offer free vaccinations and regular medical check-ups. Each of our estates has a medical officer who is responsible for making sure that these programmes function regularly and effectively. In addition, the plantations sector has also made four ambulances available to increase the speed and efficiency with which patients needing hospital treatment can be transported from the estates.

As well as providing treatment and care, Elpitiya Plantations also regularly hosts seminars for the workforce to create awareness and preventative methods for alcoholism, HIV/AIDS & other sexually transmitted diseases among others, in partnership with the Ministry of Health, Family Planning Association of Sri Lanka and Plantation Human Development Trust. Skills development and prevention of alcoholism programmes were conducted for the members of Quality Circles as well as for utilizing the funds granted by the Project for Development Planning aimed at prevention of absenteeism in the plantations.    

At Aitken Spence Plantations we make sure that the children in the estates get every opportunity to reach their potential. To this effect we regularly carry out a series of activities aimed at improving the literacy of estate workers’ children. We have Child Development Centres (similar to day care facilities) in all estates. Last year, a total of Rs. 24 Million was spent to maintain the crèche facilities in all estates. Of course it is always nice to receive positive reinforcement and we were thrilled when our Gulugahakande Child Development Centre was placed first at the all island child development centre competition organized by PHDT, beating 430 other estates.

In addition, Elpitiya Plantations in association with the Merrill J. Fernando Charitable Foundation provides educational scholarships to children of estate workers. This includes scholarships to students who have been accepted to university and students who have performed well at their GCE Ordinary Level examinations. Last year, three students qualified to receive scholarships to continue their studies from GCE Ordinary Level to Advanced Level and those qualified to enter university for higher studies were granted scholarships of Rs. 1500 monthly for three years. Currently, there are twenty scholarship recipients.

The secretaries of Aitken Spence with support from the entire group, led by Mrs. Daisy Kunanandham in their special annual project, donated educational and health care utensils for the children of Dunsinane, Sheen, Fernlands and Meddacombra estates. Over 1600 students benefited from these activities.

Sustainability through Infrastructure Development

We collaborated with the Ministry of Livestock & Rural Community Development in a special project to concrete roads in the Nuwara Eliya region. The full length of the roads developed in the Dunsinane, Fernlands and Sheen estates were 32 km at an approximate cost of Rs. 43.5 Million.

In addition, EPP has spent a total of Rs. 55.3 million on developing field rest rooms, water schemes, playgrounds, places of worship, social development centres, re-roofing and rehabilitating internal roads.



Best Child Development Centre Awarded to Aitken Spence Plantations – Gulugahakanda Estate

1 Apr

Gulugahakanda Estate managed by Aitken Spence Plantation Managements Ltd. won the title of ‘All Island Best Child Development Centre’ for ‘Outstanding Achievements in Quality Services in Child Development Centres’ for the year 2010. The competition was organized by the Plantation Human Development Trust (PHDT) and the finals were held at the Gulugahkanda estate on the 19th of March 2011. The annual competition attracted 437 participants from all parts of the country this year.

When choosing the winner for the title of ‘Outstanding Achievements in Quality Services in Child Development Centres’, the decision of the PHDT was based on areas such as the activities children were involved in, pre-school education the children received and the quality of Child Development Centre records maintained.

At present the Child Development Centre at Gulagahakanda Estate has 27 children below the age of 5 under their care. All activities done at the crèche are in line with the National Early Childhood Development Guidelines and are frequently monitored by PHDT.

“The management of Gulagahakanda Estate encourages estate worker’s children to attend the Child Development Centre. The estate workers themselves have a very high sense of confidence in the Gulugahakanda Estate Management and its Child Development Officer. We have been monitoring their child care activities in which they maintain very high standards. They are winners of this category because of their sheer commitment towards community development”, said Mr. Lal Perera Regional Director of PHDT.

When questioned about future plans for the Child Development Centres, it was mentioned that Elpitiya Estates will continue to train and develop the Child Development Officers in charge of the centers. It also hopes to open up the pre-school for village children in the near future.

News Release 31-03-2011

Elpitiya Estates Globally Benchmarked for Food Safety

11 Mar

The Talgaswella and Deviturai estates of Elpitiya Plantations, owned and managed by Aitken Spence Plantations, have been awarded the ISO 22000 food safety certificate this month.
ISO 22000 specifies requirements to enable an organization to plan, implement, operate, maintain and update a food safety management system aimed at providing products that, according to their intended use, are safe for the consumer.
Elpitiya Plantations is please to have received this certificate as it proves that the organization has effectively communicated food safety issues to their suppliers, customers and relevant interested parties in the food chain.

Elpitiya Plantations PLC consists of 13 estates, situated in the upper, middle and low country regions .These estates cultivate tea, rubber, oil palm and coconut.
Talgaswella & Deviturai low grown estates produce more that 1.2 mn tea per annum. These plantations cater to the Middle Eastern and Russian markets and are known for producing leafy teas which are stylish and neater in appearance.

A few commendable initiatives of the estates owned by Aitken Spence Plantations would include Deviturai estate hitting a record of Rs 700 for Latex Crepe 1X in February, which was the highest economy price ever recorded for Latex Crepe 1X rubber in Sri Lankan history. The fact that Dunsinane, New Peacock and Nayapana estates have received the ISO 22000 food safety certificate is also creditable.
New Release 10-3-2010

Elpitiya Creates a Sri Lankan Record for the Highest Rubber Price

15 Feb

Hitting a record of Rs 700 for Latex Crepe 1X, Elpitiya Plantations PLC, managed by Aitken Spence, announced that invoice 55 – 2000 kilos of Latex Crepe 1X from Devitura Estate was sold at Rs. 700 per kilo at the weekly public auction organized by the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce on Tuesday the 15th of February.

It is the highest economy price ever recorded for Latex Crepe 1X rubber in Sri Lankan history. Elpitiya plantations can proudly state that Devitura Estate was the only Estate which had the power to reach the mark of 700. Broker JD &Sons (Pvt.) Ltd. successfully sold the rubber to Rajapaksha Trading (Pvt) Ltd at this rate which was considered to be the top price for the day.

Elpitiya Plantations PLC consist of 13 estates, situated in the Upper , Middle and Low country regions owned and managed by Aitken Spence Plantation Managements Ltd. These estates are cultivated with Tea, Rubber, Oil Palm, and Coconut.

Elpitiya Plantations’ Factories Receive Coveted ISO 22000

12 Jan

L-R: Mr. Tony Goonewardena (CEO/Director), Mr. Senerath Pahathkumbura (GM, Dunsinane), Mr. M I Izzadeen (GM, New Peacock) and Mr. N. Sriram (Country Manager SGS), the certifying agency.

Dunsinane Estate Tea Factory and New Peacock Estate Tea Factory of Elpitiya Plantations Plc have been awarded with the prestigious ISO 22000 Quality Certificate by SGS, Switzerland. These estate factories are owned and managed by Aitken Spence Plantation Managements Ltd.

The Dunsinane Tea Factory, situated in Pundalu Oya in the up country, produces quality CTC teas while New Peacock Tea Factory, situated in Pussellawa produces black, CTC teas with coloury liquors. Both factories have produced almost 2mn kilograms of quality CTC teas per annum since 1989.

“Obtaining the ISO 22000 certification attests to Elpitiya Plantations’ commitment to the manufacture of the highest quality CTC teas. The company is commends the hard work of the two General Managers Mr. Senerath Pahathkumbura and Mr. M I Izzadeen and the direction provided by the Chief Executive Officer/ Director, Mr. Tony Goonewardena”, said Dr. Rohan M. Fernando, Managing Director of Aitken Spence Plantations and Director, Aitken Spence Plc.

Media Release – 12 January 2009