The Purpose beyond profit, 2nd Edition

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PURPOSE 2nd Edition


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Dilmah tea was established by its Founder, Merrill J. Fernando, with the philosophy that business must also be a matter of human service. That foundation is expressed in the uncompromising commitment that the brand maintains to taste, natural goodness and ethical purpose. Emphasised by a commitment to integrity and family values, the purpose of Dilmah is fulfilled in the work of the MJF Charitable Foundation and Dilmah Conservation.

More than anything, at Dilmah, we believe in being kind. Kindness is at the heart of everything we do. We spread kindness by doing everything with care and respect. This means respecting nature - growing only the finest ingredients and protecting the environment. Respecting our workers, offering good working conditions and fair wages for their efforts. Respecting our consumers - we do not blend our teas. We uphold the highest standards and do not compromise quality to make a profit. We make the best tea in the world and use our profits to support those who need that little bit of kindness the most.




a minimum 15% of our pretax profits directly benefit people & planet.

Taste Deliciously authentic, honouring the influence of Nature in our Single Origin Teas and handpicked ingredients. We are tea growers, and our commitment is to great taste with tea that is garden fresh, single origin and of the finest quality.

Goodness Tea that is grown, handpicked and handmade, and Infusions from ingredients that are authentic, all freshly packed at source, to ensure that natural antioxidant goodness is nurtured and protected for your enjoyment.

Purpose Formed around our Founder’s sincere wish to make business a matter of human service, earnings from Dilmah Tea are shared with less privileged people and the environment.


Dilmah is much more than a brand of tea, it is an uncompromising promise of quality. Merrill J. Fernando, an artisan teamaker who is driven by his passion for tea and a desire to share the luxury and natural goodness in Ceylon tea, is the same teamaker behind the world’s best tea. Decades of an extraordinary love for tea gave Dilmah the unquenchable spirit it has today. Dilmah Founder, Merrill J. Fernando, has dedicated 70 years of his life to tea. He has mastered the art of tea making. He guides his family business with pride, passion and care. You can’t buy that!!

Merrill J. Fernando, Founder of Dilmah Tea

TASTE, GOODNESS & PURPOSE Our Founder’s dream was to offer his tea, grown and packed at source, direct to the world. After nearly four decades spent overcoming the obstacles he faced as he sought to offer the first genuinely ethical tea brand, he succeeded in 1988 and his earnings fulfill his pledge to make Dilmah a business that is a matter of human service. 4


Merrill J. Fernando Charitable Foundation fulfills the vision of the Dilmah Founder, Merrill J. Fernando to make business a matter of human service through its multifaceted projects aimed at addressing the foremost challenges faced by the less privileged and marginalised communities. HEALTH CARE FOR















3900+ YOUTH






























The environment is central to Dilmah’s business, and Dilmah Conservation was established as an affirmation of this core commitment to environmental sustainability.communities.



SUSTAINABILITY HIGHLIGHTS AT DILMAH We started our sustainability journey in 2000, since then we have eliminated

421,052 Kgs of plastics. The biodegradability of our tea bags vary from

98% 100 % to

based on the composition.

645kw 2137.63 % 100 Tons of CO2 43000 2030.

We established of hydro & solar plants, saving

the same as growing

A Carbon Neutral Product since 2017, becoming Carbon Negative from our Tea Gardens to destination port by


At our One Earth Centers we


15000+ individuals Our beach cleanups have

on environmental sustainability.


9550 tons

We established Sri Lanka’s first corporate owned Climate Change Research & Adaptation Centre in 2017,



national & international research

of waste from sensitive ecosystems

initiatives at present.

Our founder increased our commitment to humanity, with a

in our investment 50% increase in people and planet. A minimum 15% of our pretax profits are used by our MJF Foundation & Dilmah Conservation in fulfillment of the philosophy of making business a matter of human service.

To scale up our initiatives, we joined the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce in forming Biodiversity Sri Lanka.

At BSL we share best practices, to encourage and support businesses in protecting biodiversity and acting sustainably. 6

Dilmah is a participant to the UNGC and an active member of the UNGC Sri Lanka Board of Directors. Our efforts are strengthened by our commitment to making UNGC and its principles a part of our company strategy, culture & day-to-day operations.

“Every individual, community and business has an irrevocable commitment to strive for a low carbon economy. There should be no greater priority than ensuring that the quality of the air we breathe, the rainfall that provides our sustenance and the host of ecosystem services that make human life possible, are protected for our children and their generations.” – Merrill J. Fernando, Founder Dilmah Tea

Dilmah Founder Merrill J. Fernando posited an exceptional vision when he declared his commitment to tea in the 1950s. He aspired to create Sri Lanka’s first producer owned brand; one that would offer the finest teas to consumers whilst providing an equitable bargain for producers. Today, after seventy years, Dilmah offers millions of tea lovers around the world a truly different experience in tea; tea that is handpicked, garden fresh, unblended and of the finest quality. Dilmah presents an unmatched collection of teas, each tasted and selected with the benefit of decades of experience, and most importantly, driven by a passion for genuine innovation and excellence. As a part of a philosophy that goes beyond commerce in seeing business as a matter of human service, Dilmah directs a fifteenth of its profits towards social and environmental development initiatives. Our Founder’s intention to make his tea ethical, is honoured in the work of his MJF Charitable Foundation and Dilmah Conservation. The natural goodness in every cup of Dilmah is extended by the positive humanitarian and environmental impact Dilmah has on communities and ecosystems.

Dilmah’s purpose is uniquely aligned to drive the company’s strategic approach towards the achievement of Sri Lanka’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Through MJF Charitable Foundation and Dilmah Conservation, we look forward to developing and implementing conservation initiatives that are novel and timely, maximizing efficiency in the utilization of resources and efficiently addressing biodiversity and environmental concern, while leading community-driven projects, with a 3-year target to change the lives of over 18,000 women, men, girls and boys, leading to increased equity, economic prosperity and dignified empowerment for all.


Collaborating in making business a matter of human service

Dilmah Ceylon Tea Company PLC

National Institutes • Chef’s Guild of Sri Lanka • Trade Partners including World Leading Airlines, Super Market Chains, Hospitality Chains

5 International Organisations

Sustainability at Dilmah

Dilmah Conservation

5 International Organisations • IUCN • Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust • Global Wildlife Conservation • UNGC (United Nations Global Compact) • Commonwealth Scientific & Industrial Research Organisation (CISRO)

• The World Association of Chefs’ Societies • International Centre for Culinary Arts – ICCA Dubai • Institut Paul Bocuse • William Angliss Institute • Emirates Culinary Guild

3 National Institutes • Tea Research Institute • National Institute of Plantation Management (NIPM) • Biodiversity Sri Lanka

14 Government Authorities • National Institute of Environmental Studies Japan (NIES) • Coastal Conservation Department (CCD) • Marine Environmental Protection Authority (MEPA)

7 Universities • University of Moratuwa • University of Colombo • University of Peradeniya • Rajarata University of Sri Lanka

• Sri Lanka Land Development Corporation (SLLDC)

• Sabaragamuwa University of Sri Lanka

• Department of Wildlife Conservation

• University of Kelaniya

• Forest Department Sri Lanka

• Eastern University of Sri Lanka

• National Building Research Organization • Biodiversity Secretariat of Sri Lanka • Central Environmental Authority (CEA) • Land Use Policy Planning Department (LUPPD) • Department of Meteorology Sri Lanka • Sri Lanka Army • Sri Lanka Navy • Sri Lanka Climate Fund (SLCF)

“‘Kindness’ must become the new ‘Profit’ .. and as businesses & individuals focus on building livelihoods amongst the poorest, that will be the foundation on which we build back better, stronger.” - Dilhan C. Fernando – CEO of Dilmah


Dilmah has consistently partnered with governmental, national and international organizations for technical expertise and guidance, essential collaborations on Dilmah’s journey of sustainability. Partnering with organizations that have shared norms is considered vital to addressing complex sustainability issues. Dilmah engages in consulting and collaborative initiatives while driving cooperation along value chains, financing project level partnerships and forming industry-level business alliances to fulfil common objectives with the organizations that are illustrated below.

MJF Charitable Foundation

19 Local Organisations

34 International Organisations and/or Private Sector

• Ratmalana School for the Blind and Deaf


• La Petite Fleur

• Rotary International

• King’s Revival Children’s Support Centre

• Mother Teresa’s home in Moratuwa

• Around the Pearl Foundation • Candle Aid • Community Development Centre (Aranayaka)

• World Vision

• London Stock Exchange Group • GlaxoSmithKline Group • Ceylon Biscuits Limited

14 Governmental and/or Local Authorities

12 Universities and Academic Institutions

• NGO Secretariat (Ministry of Defense)

• University of Colombo

• Mayor’s Office Colombo

• University of Kelaniya

• The Ministry of Health, Nutrition and Indigenous Medicine

• University of Sri Jayewardenepura

• Divisional Secretariats in all Areas of Operation

• Embassy of France

• Sri Lanka Institute of Marketing

• Government Agents

• Microsoft Sri Lanka


• District Secretariats in all areas of Operation

• International Hotel School

• Ministry of Social Services

• Winstone

• Gemi Aruna

• MDF – Palladium Group

• Plantation Human Development Trust

• Speechworks

• Foundation of Goodness

• Forte Consultancy

• Sparklers Foundation

• Spinner Café

• Power of Play Pvt. Ltd.

• Urban Development Authority

• SunRay Hotel School - Gampaha • Sunanda Upananda Vidyalaya

• One Stage for All

• Cerebral Palsy Alliance Australia

• Colombo Design Market

• The Asia Foundation

• Ministry of Agriculture and Agriculture Extension offices in Siyambalanduwa and Ampara

• Tekompaniet Sweden

• Lady Ridgeway Hospital

• Eastern University

• Tokai Coop



• Industrial Development Board

• Uyana Kanishta Vidyalaya

• Child Protection Force • Youth Action Network Sri Lanka

• British Council

• National Youth Council

• World Association of Chefs’ Societies

• John Keells Foundation

• The Hilton Hotel

• Department of Railways

• Cinnamon Lakeside

• Water’s Edge Bureau


• Sri Lanka Prisons

• Nuffield School • SALT

• JanaJaya Vidyalaya • Riversheen School of Music

• Mahakalugolla Vidyalaya • Muthukandiya Step 3 School

• Sooriya Village

• Sumithrayo

• Physionet UK

• Good Market

• Ian and Barbara Karan Foundation


• Dialog

• Indra Women’s Group

• Toastmasters International – Moratuwa

• Walawa Kantha Ekamuthuwa

• Employees Federation

• Elders Homes

• University Of Moratuwa

• Durdans Hospital

• Australian High Commission

5 Other

• MillenniumIT ESP

• Methodist Church of Sri Lanka

• Fortude



• Paralympic Committee SL

• Boy Scouts

• Ayati Trust



• Girl Guides of Sri Lanka • Commercial Bank • Keells Supermarkets • Vidyasagar • Sarva Integrated • PickMe


Our Standards Certifications and Standards Our continued commitment towards quality and product responsibility has enabled us to maintain compliance with a range of international certifications as listed below.

Quality Management and Food Safety Management Certifications

Certificate No: 184139-2015-AQ-LKA-RvA

Initial certification date: 22, July, 1997

Environmental Management Certification

Valid: 21, September, 2018 - 20, September, 2021 Certificate No: 202389-2016-FSMS-IND-RvA

This is to certify that the management system of

MJF Holdings Limited Dilmah Ceylon Tea Company PLC MJF Teas (Pvt) Ltd MJF Exports (Pvt) Ltd Dilmah Fine Teas & Herbs (Pvt) Ltd 111, Negombo Road, Peliyagoda, Sri Lanka

Initial date: 19 June 2013

Valid: 19 June 2019 - 29 June 2021

This is to certify that the management system of

Dilmah Ceylon Tea Company PLC 111, Negombo Road, Peliyagoda, Sri Lanka

has been assessed and determined to comply with the requirements of


ISO 9001:2015

has been found to conform to the Quality Management System standard:

Certification scheme for food safety management systems consisting of the following elements: ISO 22000:2005, FSSC 22000 V4.1 - ISO TS 22002-1:2009 (Food) and additional FSSC 22000 requirements.

This certificate is valid for the following scope: Design, development, processing and packaging of tea, flavoured tea & herbal infusions

This certificate is applicable for the scope of: PROCESSING AND PACKAGING OF TEA, FLAVOURED TEA AND HERBAL INFUSIONS. Category CIV

The certification system consists of a minimum annual audit of the food safety management systems and a minimum annual verification of the PRP elements and additional requirements as included in the scheme and applicable technical specification for sector PRPs. Validity of this certificate can be verified in the FSSC 22000 database of certified organizations available on

Place and date: Chennai, 26, September, 2018

For the issuing office: DNV GL – Business Assurance ROMA, No. 10, GST Road, Alandur, Chennai - 600 016, India

Date of Certification Decision: Place and date: Barendrecht,

For the issuing office: DNV GL – Business Assurance Zwolseweg 1, 2994 LB, Barendrecht, Netherlands

Erie Koek Management Representative

Sivadasan Madiyath Management Representative

Lack of fulfilment of conditions as set out in the Certification Agreement may render this Certificate invalid. ACCREDITED UNIT: DNV GL Business Assurance B.V., ZWOLSEWEG 1, 2994 LB, BARENDRECHT, NETHERLANDS. TEL:+31102922689.

ISO 9001:2015 Quality Management System Standard

Lack of fulfilment of conditions as set out in the Certification Agreement may render this Certificate invalid. ACCREDITED UNIT: DNV GL Business Assurance B.V., ZWOLSEWEG 1, 2994 LB, BARENDRECHT, NETHERLANDS. TEL:+31102922689.

FSSC 22000 – Food Safety System Certification

BRC Global Standard for Food Safety

Organic Certifications

Organic Certification to USDA, AMS 7 CFR Part 205, National Organic Program

ISO 14001:2015 Environmental Management System Certification

Laboratory Accreditation Certification

Organic Certification to Regulation (EC) No 834/2007 and Regulation (EC) No 889/2008

Organic Certification to Japanese Agricultural Standard of Organic Agricultural Products (JAS)

ISO:17025 Chemical and Microbiology Laboratory Certificate of Accreditation

Ethical Sourcing & Responsible Operations Related Certifications

Certificate For Dilmah Ceylon Tea Company PLC 111, Negombo Road, Pelyagoda, Sri Lanka

NC-C-101822 CoC-Single Issue date: 12/20/2018 Expiration date: 12/19/2021

Rainforest Alliance Standard(s): RA Chain of Custody Standard 2015 Product(s) and process(es) approved: Tea, Flavored tea and Herbal Infusions Client Location: Sri Lanka Inspection Body Authorized by Rainforest Alliance (if applicable): Wood Certification Pvt. Ltd

Revision date: 12/20/2018

Laura Terrall Kohler Director, NEPCon Assurance This certificate is issued within the scope of Rainforest Alliance’s accreditation for ISO/IEC 17065:2012 by the IOAS. Country: USA

Registration Number: 85

Valid until: 9/30/2022 - +45 8618 0866 This certificate is the property of the Rainforest Alliance. This certificate and all copies or reproductions of this certificate shall be returned or destroyed if requested by the Rainforest Alliance. © Rainforest Alliance. All rights reserved.

SMETA - SEDEX Members Ethical Trade Audit


Rainforest Alliance Chain of Custody Standard

Carbon Neutral Product Certification

Carbon Neutral Facility Certification

table of contents MJF Charitable Foundation 14 people of the tea gardens 16 children 24 youth 32 education 36 reducing inequality 42 enabling the disabled 48 entrepreneurship 54 commitment to sustainable agriculture


health, nutrition & resources for children with disabilities and families


disABILITY advocacy


medical infrastructure 76 COVID response 80

Dilmah Conservation 84 climate action 88 environmental sustainability 100 biodiversity conservation 106 nature education 118 corporate advocacy


“We come into this world with nothing, we leave with nothing. The wealth some of us acquire is owed to the efforts and cooperation of many others around us. Let us, therefore, share that wealth, while we are still around, so that the goodwill and contentment created thereby may make our world a happier place for others too.” – Merrill J. Fernando, Founder Dilmah Tea


projects & locations Ampara

Point Pedro

• The Small Entrepreneurs Programme


• Vocational Training • MJF Kids

Batticaloa • The Small Entrepreneurs Programme • Women’s Empowerment • Housing Project • Community Centres • Greening Batticaloa • One Earth Conservation Centre

Colombo • MJF Kids Programme Peliyagoda & Maligawatta • Prison Reform and Reintegrate Programme • National Centre for Children with Cerebral Palsy and Developmental Disorders (NCCCPDD)

Hambantota • The Small Entrepreneurs


Programme • Community Centre • Water and Hygiene Programmes for Communities • Educational Support and Recreation Facilities for Schools


Jaffna • The Small Entrepreneurs Programme • NCCCPDD Extension


Kalkudah • MJF Kids • Rainbow Centre • MJF Centre for Technology • Empower Culinary and Hospitality School • MJF Youth • Women’s Development Programme • Climate Smart Dairy Programme

• Swashakthi Bakery & Tea Room • Caring for the Elderly • MJF Youth • One Earth Urban Arboretum Moratuwa

• Agroforestry • Permanent Housing for the Workers • The Small Entrepreneurs Programme • Eco-Friendly Tea Gardens

• Heritage Centre

• Biodiversity Refugees

• One Earth Organic Farm

• MJF Kids

• Butterfly Garden

• Nature Corridor

• Waste for Life

• Dilmah Conservation Centre for

• Biogas Plant

Climate Change Research and Adaptation (DCCCCRA)

Kayts • Kayts Base Hospital

Negombo • Pallansena Small Entrepreneurs Programme • Home for the Elders


• MJF Kids


to communities in Udawalawe • The School of Inspiration

• Managing the Elephant Information Centre, Udawalawe

Programme for the Hearing & Visual

• Mankada – livelihood assistance

• Elephant Transit Home

• The Small Entrepreneurs • Supporting the School


Point Pedro

• Udawalawe Wildlife Programme

• Point Pedro Base Hospital

• Walawa Kantha Ekamuthuwa

• MJF Kids

• Managing the Daskam Niwasa • Diriya Centre for Vocational Training • Orange Plantation in Pahalalanda

• MJF Kids • Cricket Live Foundation

Plantations in Ratnapura, Nuwara Eliya, Kahawatte, Endane Nawalapitiya, & Kandy


• Water and Hygiene Projects

• MJF Kids

• Women’s Development Programme • The Small Entrepreneurs Programme

• Educational Scholarships • Support for Primary



• MJF Kids

• Child Development Centres

• Rainbow Centre

• Nutritional Improvement

• Curtiss Institute for Design • Cricket Live Foundation • Empower Culinary & Hospitality School • Women’s Development Programme

Programme • Establishment of a Medical Centre • Special Education • Special Eye Care Programme


Over 6000 children of Dilmah tea garden workers complete their early childhood education in the MJF Foundation-run Child Development Centres. At these centres, every child receives a balanced mid-day meal daily, which helps improve their health, nutrition & learning. 14

MJF Charitable Foundation

The Merrill J. Fernando Charitable Foundation was formed to fulfil its Settlor’s pledge to make his business a matter of human service. The Foundation benefits from earnings from Dilmah Tea to fund its efforts at impacting the lives of less fortunate people and their communities. Our work focuses on empowering people in poverty with dignity. We do so by nurturing the ability that every child, youth and adult possesses, regardless of any physical, mental, social or economic disability. Vulnerable women, men, children and youth are given the opportunity to overcome difficult circumstances, to cater to their basic needs and give back to their communities. The Foundation operates MJF Centres across Sri Lanka, benefiting people with disability, or in poverty with education, vocational training, entrepreneurship development, to deliver change for the better. Dilmah Tea Founder Merrill J. Fernando’s wish is for the success of Dilmah to be shared with the less fortunate. MJF Foundation initiatives benefit the plantation industry and its workers, helping build sustainable livelihoods through education and training for the families of workers and others from the wider community.

The Foundation focuses on the social, economic and environmental sustainability of its initiatives, empowering individuals, families and entire communities. These include the multifaceted MJF Centres, supporting communities around Sri Lanka, the Small Entrepreneur Programme with over 2,000 small entrepreneurs, The Empower Culinary & Hospitality Schools, and disABILITY - a project that focuses on possibilities, and the ability of people with disabilities are some of the core initiatives of the Foundation which enhance people’s capabilities and provide them with opportunities enabling them to live self-sustaining and rewarding lives. The work of the MJF Foundation represents a genuinely sustainable form of business, in which the value of people, our community and environment are considered as a part of a core commitment to ethical business. We believe that every business has an obligation to a purpose beyond profit and we commit to creatively, sustainably, efficiently and sincerely fulfill Merrill J. Fernando’s philosophy.


people of the tea gardens Fulfilling a pledge to care and share The estates and its people are part of our core. The Foundation and Dilmah Ceylon Tea Services have worked in the Tea Estates since the 1990s ensuring that infrastructure and services are updated to meet the changing needs and demands of the people who are vital to the process of producing Ceylon Tea. We also recognize the need to adapt; to ensure that we are ready to face the current and future challenges of the tea industry. The ageing worker, skills training and diversification of skills and retraining, new technology, updated infrastructure and climate change all affect the population.


Every year, the foundation for a solid education is laid with the children of the tea gardens as they complete their early childhood education at the estate run Child Development Centres


Phase one of Dilmah’s renewed commitment to worker welfare kicked off with the laying of a foundation stone by Dilmah Founder Merrill J Fernando and CEO Dilhan C Fernando at Hunuwela’s Cinnamon factory in September. This is part of a series of initiatives being piloted at Hunuwela focused on the estate workers and their families as well as the community around the estates.

“My primary objective is the welfare of our workers and those who make the business successful not profit” – Merrill J. Fernando, Founder Dilmah Tea



The ergonomic baskets ensure the health, safety and well being of harvesting technicians.

The MJF Foundation initiated the presentation of ergonomic plucking baskets to estate workers in Endana in September 2020. The Foundation partnered with the community themselves to ensure that they are involved in the manufacture, design of these baskets so there is much greater acceptance. The SEP programme to communities surrounding Endana will benefit the workers by allowing them to join over 2000 of Dilmah’s Small Entrepreneurs Development programme which has at its heart the objective of empowering with dignity.

“Dilmah has a unique Foundation. It is the philosophy of making business a matter of human service. The Small Entrepreneurs Programme nurtures the ability of that person to avoid dependence and to build their capabilities, enabling them to do great things. Today, we are extending the programme to ensure that our involvement and support for nature benefits people through livelihoods.” – Dilhan C Fernando CEO of Dilmah Tea and Trustee MJF Charitable Foundation


CHILD DEVELOPMENT CENTRES (CDCs) Infants and young children of plantation workers were often placed in poorly supervised and dilapidated crèches, or in the care of aged and infirm grandparents, not all who possess the wherewithal to shoulder such burdens in their twilight years. This often leads to inadequate care resulting from a lack of nutrition and poor general health. In addressing this issue, the Foundation has thus far restored 61 crèches cum Child Development Centres (CDCs) and constructed 14 new Centres which provide care and welfare for over 2,000 children of Dilmah tea garden workers daily. These Child Development Centres are equipped with facilities which enable sound development of young minds, while qualified and caring staff manage the daily operations. The staff members are often themselves part of the plantation. Fifty percent of these centres are funded by the MJF Charitable Foundation.

EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION Every year, children of Dilmah tea garden workers complete their early childhood education in Foundation run Child Development Centres and enter into government run schools in the area to commence their primary education. As a gesture of support, the Foundation provides these children with school bags and other necessary stationery. Since 2013, 800 youngsters who completed their education at these Centres received school bags, water bottles, lunch boxes, pencil boxes and books to embark on the next phase of their education.

School bags & stationery from the Foundation equip children of the estate for their education at the closest primary schools and increase their attendance


MID-DAY MEAL PROGRAMME IN CDCs The MJF Charitable Foundation ensures that every child attending any one of the Child Development Centres managed by the Foundation receives at least one balanced mid-day meal daily. Having commenced on an experimental basis 6 years ago, the mid-day meal programme proved to be an immense success due to it adding value to the children’s daily stay at the CDCs. The programme has evolved today to include over 2,000 children attending 71 Child Development Centres situated in the Kahawatte Plantations and 19 Centres situated in Talawakelle Tea Estates. At the Centres, the safety and health levels of the children have significantly improved with the supervision of trained staff employed by the Foundation. This has enabled the parents to go about their work with a peace of mind that their children are being properly cared for.

MEDICAL CAMPS The Foundation continued to provide targeted healthcare through medical camps organized island wide. In March 2013, the Foundation worked with HelpAge Sri Lanka to carry out an eye clinic at the Imbulpitiya Estate of the Kahawatte Plantation Group which benefited 261 former Dilmah tea garden workers. As a result of the eye clinic, 230 senior citizens received eye glasses courtesy of the MJF Charitable Foundation.



Sivakumaran Family

comfortable life thanks to the work I chose to do.

“I used to work as a factory labourer before and was later promoted to a professional driver at Dilmah’s Dunkeld Tea Estate. In 2009, my family became the new house occupants at the Lower Division of the estate as part of MJF Foundation’s housing projects. It was a life-changing moment for all of us. We have a new life under a new roof now. This house is spacious, has basic amenities and located in a place that is convenient for us to attend to our daily affairs. The children feel happier at home now. My eldest son is currently working as a shop assistant in Colombo. It gives me a sense of relief when I think that I was able to provide them with a

Dilmah’s Plantation Programme does a lot to enhance the quality of our life. Our estate has its own dispensary and pharmacy. The kids at Child Development Centres receive their mid-day meals for free. Those days, our family of 6 survived in a ‘line-room’ with minimal, basic necessities. The move has without a doubt affected my life in the most profound way. We are grateful to our Founder Merrill J Fernando for providing the people of the plantations with better access to resources and education for children to lead a dignified life. His vision & compassion has transformed the communities in which we live.”


THE MJF SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAMME The MJF Scholarship Programme lies at the root of all MJF Foundation activities. Over the past 18 years and for many years before then, children from Kahawatta, Elpitiya and Talawakelle Plantations have been eligible for scholarships supporting their A Levels and then University.

PETER PAUL The Magistrate, Jaffna

Dr Balakrishnan Sathiyaraj “Dilmah Founder Merrill J Fernando’s speech during a visit made me realise that if we are determined enough, no dream or ambition is beyond our reach.” Today, as two of the very first doctors from the plantation community, Dr Balakrishnan Sathiyaraj and Kuppusamy Kanageswari live a modest life in Badulla with their two sons and parents. Education empowered them to take charge of their lives. The MJF Charitable Foundation (MJFCF) recognised the determination and courage and awarded them a scholarship which supported their Advanced Level and University education.


“I was raised by a single mother at Dilmah’s Holyrood Estate and I always wanted to become a lawyer for as long as I can remember. Education became my way forward and I was firmly determined to focus on my dreams and ambitions. The MJF Foundation recognised me for my outstanding academic record and provided guidance, resources, and support to further my studies. Merrill J Fernando’s vision has been powerful, impactful and inspiring in changing the lives of hundreds of less-privileged young girls and boys - like me. My life has been changed forever thanks to the support I received from the MJF Foundation to further my education. Without them, I wouldn’t be the person who I am today.”

Traditional Cane Baskets are being replaced across all MJF Kahawatte Plantations with more ergonomic baskets.


children Enabling children to achieve their goals & live their dreams

“When we started the Foundation activities, I watched the results of some of our efforts in teaching and giving opportunities for children to go to school, in giving scholarships to children. These are flowers that would have bloomed and withered without being noticed and we are picking just a handful of them. If businesses realise the need to help others, to make it a human service, there will be thousands and thousands of children like that who will blossom, but with the absence of thinking and caring for our neighbour on the part of businesses, these children wither away, but I am sure sooner or later the picture will change.”

– Merrill J. Fernando Dilmah Founder


The play area at the Rainbow Centre - East is the only disabled friendly play area for children with disabilities in the entire Eastern Province


The MJF Kids Programme was initiated with the ambition of providing holistic development for less privileged children, by ensuring access to quality early childhood development programmes and ensuring that they remain in school. The MJF Kids Programme offers Mathematics, Science, English, Sinhala, Tamil and Dancing classes under educational support sessions. Co-curricular activities and leadership training sessions are conducted on a weekly basis, making a noticeable difference in children coming from troubled social backgrounds. The MJF Kids Programme is now operational across Sri Lanka; 8 locations including Peliyagoda, Maligawatta, Pallansena, Siyambalanduwa, Udawalawe, Koul-Ara, Pahalalanda and Point Pedro.

ILMA Ilma’s paintings reveal a lot about her artistic inclinations. It is captivating to watch Ilma paint; her brush strokes gently touch the canvas, bringing her imaginings to life in colour. Ilma and her sister Zahra have been part of the MJF Kids Programme in Maligawatta for nearly 5 years. This is where Ilma was able to refine her skills and explore her talent. “I want to be an art teacher one day. I am grateful to the MJF Foundation for giving me the chance to believe in the artist in me”.



The MJF Kids Programme at Pallansena welcomes around 50 - 60 students from the fishing communities in Kammaltota who come daily to learn IT, Maths, Science & Aesthetics. Located in the birthplace of Dilmah Founder Merrill J Fernando, the MJF Centre in Pallansena gives children of this fishing community some much needed educational and extracurricular support. The dedication of the parents, community elders and their drive to help their children achieve academic and life success has led to a truly inspiring community led development project.

The Centre in Pallansena serves as a hub for children of the community and extends sports & the arts to those who may otherwise not have access to these resources



A Meet & Greet with The Black Caps

As a joint initiative between the MJF Charitable Foundation and the Cricket Live Foundation (CLF) New Zealand, the programme provides cricket coaching for less privileged children to offer them a pathway for the future through cricket. The CLF emphasizes the nature of teamwork and teaches both boys and girls essential life skills, such as punctuality, time management, self-discipline and respect for family and friends.

The Cricket Live Foundation (CLF), Moratuwa had a meet and greet with the Black Caps at the NCC grounds in Colombo in September 2019. The young CLF players got the chance to witness the training session and get their bats signed by the heroes they look up to. Expressing his gratitude with excitement, Salindu Ashan, a mentor of CLF Moratuwa said “the experience inspired me to work towards achieving my goal of representing the National Cricket Team of Sri Lanka.”

CLF uses Sports 4 Development and applies it to Sri Lanka’s favourite sport - Cricket

CLF trains children from the edges of society to become active, productive and mindful individuals through Cricket



Nestled between sugar cane plantations and an elephant wildlife park, is the hamlet of Koul Ara. The School of Inspiration comes to life each morning with bright eyed pre-school children from the village. Benefitting up to 50 children each year, the pre-schoolers are engaged in multisensory activities which help develop their cognitive skills, motor skills, creativity and most importantly prepare them for primary education. In 2019, the School of Inspiration in Koul Ara was recognised as the best pre-school in the district.


The Cape Weligama Pre-school and Centre is the only non-public initiative in the community around the Cape Weligama Resort. It works with 35 children under the age of 5 daily, giving them a strong education and life foundation. Once they commence school, the children join the MJF Kids after-school programme.


With few other industries in the area, the preschool provides children from the fishing communities surrounding the Cape Weligama Resort an opportunity for childcare & early childhood education

ANJALI AHAM – JAFFNA Anjali Aham in Point Pedro was established in 2011 as part of the educational and livelihood support projects carried out in the Jaffna region at the end of Sri Lanka’s 30-year civil war. The programme benefits approximately 250 children - mostly those from poor and marginalised backgrounds and war-affected areas. They come to the Centre daily on weekday afternoons to receive educational guidance supporting the school curriculum. Here they also get exposure to develop their social / life skills through leadership development, outreach programmes and other social / cultural activities organised periodically.

Anjali Aham - A centre for hope providing psychosocial & educational support in one of the poorest parts of the Jaffna



Our Rainbow Centre initiative provides holistic development for children with special needs. The centre offers education and therapy for those with Cerebral Palsy, Down Syndrome and Autism. The Centre was established with the vision of providing educational facilities that are disability and gender-sensitive whilst providing a safe, nonviolent, inclusive and effective learning environment for less privileged children.


The Rainbow Centre at the MJF Centre - West is one of the few places in Sri Lanka which provides resources for the families of individuals with disabilities

The Rainbow Youth at MJF Centre Moratuwa trains young women and men with intellectual disabilities in a vocation of their preference and encourages them to engage in productive means of work that will enable them to find a job. Today, women like Nipuni are making a living out of their skills and strengths thanks to the opportunities offered at the Centre. Nipuni was born with Down Syndrome. At the age of 13, she joined the Rainbow Youth at MJF Centre, Moratuwa to pursue her interests such as baking, dancing and music to the best of her ability. Recently, Nipuni earned the All Round Cord for her outstanding service as a Girl Guide. Today, Nipuni works at the Swashakthi Bakery & Tea Room in Moratuwa and dedicates her free time at the centre as an assistant teacher.

All services are daily and like the rest of the Foundation provided free


CELEBRATING DIFFERENCES Every year, Children, youth and adults from our MJF Centres across Sri Lanka gather with our Settlor, Dilmah Founder Merrill J Fernando to celebrate the differences that make us human. It is a joy watching them on stage - capturing our hearts with their own individual charms. Some have down syndrome, others autism, some are typical and yet others have cerebral palsy. Our focus is always on their ability, as we look beyond any disability. Celebrating Differences is one of the longest running events of Dilmah’s MJF Foundation that brings children and youth from North to East, South to West together. It is an annual gathering at which every child feels the true spirit of Christmas, and every guest understands the purpose of our business.

Celebrating Differences is an annual gathering of MJFCF Centres where both the performers & the audience experience the true spirit of Christmas

More than 500 invitees witnessed MJF Foundation’s first ever virtual ‘Celebrating Differences’ in 2020. Continuing the tradition with a change, children of all abilities and ages from MJF Centres across Sri Lanka came together online to send their messages for a Kinder Christmas. The event was joined by Dilmah Founder, staff, partners and well-wishers around the world.


youth Knowledge and skills for tomorrow’s decision-makers

The MJF Youth and Alumni programmes are designed to provide youth with the skills, resources and training to embark on their journey as responsible, contributing members of society and encourage them to give back to society as well. Participants learn to work together on special community projects. In 2019, these included the Festival of Kites and the restoration of a pre-school, where the young alumni of the MJF Kids fundraised to provide stationery and other essential items for the benefit of preschool children. The Youth programme also established a partnership with the Sri Lanka Institute of Marketing (SLIM) to create a certificate programme targeting school leavers and school dropouts, providing them with a qualification in sales that gives them access to higher paying jobs.



The Curtiss Institute facilitates access to e-learning and basic IT skills for marginalised youth and people from across the spectrum of age and ability

The Curtiss Institute was initiated with the support of Daron Curtiss, the New Zealand advertising professional and friend who first encouraged Merrill J. Fernando to make his own ads and immortalised the phrase “Do Try It.

The Curtiss Institute facilitates access to e-learning. Since the establishment of the Centre, major progress has been made towards increasing access to education at all levels and increasing enrolment rates, particularly for marginalized women and youth. For the past 7 years, the Curtiss Institute has been successfully transitioning its graduates into technology-enabled employment. The Institute has partnered up with local employers and companies to better understand the requirements in the job market and translate them into training modules and curriculum, which will assist the graduates in securing jobs with IT firms.

PAVANI Pavani Piyumali won the award for Academic Excellence at the Convocation of the Curtiss Institute of Design in 2018. Pavani currently offers her services as a freelancer for a foreign company. The skills that she acquired from the MS Office and Certificate of Graphic Design courses have helped her to stand out in this increasingly digitized, interconnected world.


A STEP UP FOR YOUNG PEOPLE The MJF Foundation collaborated with The Sri Lanka Institute of Marketing (SLIM) to provide tailor-made, professional qualifications in sales for low income youth in Sri Lanka. Together with SLIM, the Foundation aims to contribute towards the increase of job readiness and enhancing employment opportunities for the participants and prepare them for a successful career in sales. The quick start sales and marketing course hopes to bridge the youth unemployment gap by guiding passionate individuals in the aspects of learning, self-improvement, and the need to continuously work on oneself as they forge a career pathway.


Young girls from MJF Kids Programme - Peliyagoda who have developed their passion for dancing, displaying their talent at the Curtiss Convocation in 2020.


education Inspiring and enabling the next generation

“Education is the single biggest gift an individual may receive in a lifetime. It cannot be taken away and its tools and resources provide an endless supply of learning from those who have gone before us. The Foundation seeks to equip every child and youth with skills that are relevant to their ability and to prepare them for the job market of tomorrow.” The laughter that makes Dilmah - a business with a purpose

– Merrill J. Fernando, Founder Dilmah Tea

At Dilmah, we work towards empowering the less-privileged through education, so that they may find sustainable employment and lead lives filled with dignity and strength. While promoting socially and environmentally conscious educational initiatives, we foster awareness, appreciation and respect for nature and heritage.



LANGUAGE AND ALTERNATIVE EDUCATION The MJF Charitable Foundation works towards empowering the less privileged through education, so that they may find sustainable employment and lead lives filled with dignity and strength and avoid the vicious cycle of poverty.

THE MJF SCHOLARSHIPS The MJF Charitable Foundation established the MJF Scholarship Scheme to support higher education and provide greater opportunities in life for the children of the next generation.

VASANTHAMALAR Dilmah MJF Foundation’s roots lie in the estate programme and a key message is in giving back to others. This is Vasanthamalar, an Attorneyat-Law who is now paving the way for change in her community, inspiring countless others to pursue their dreams to graduate secondary school and enter university. Vasanthamalar was supported by the MJF Scholarship Programme for 3 years. With passion and commitment, she is dedicated to giving back and making a difference in her life as well as others.



ASELA MADUSHANKA ECHS provides youth with guidance & skills to instill the passion for their own culinary journeys

Dilmah’s Empower Culinary & Hospitality School is Sri Lanka’s only World Chefs certified culinary training facility. This is an industry-focused social initiative which provides training and opportunities for less privileged youth. The culinary boot camp at ECHS trains students in the fundamentals of cooking, along with a mix of theoretical knowledge and personality development programmes, that then guarantee them employment in the culinary and hospitality industry.


“I am in constant awe of my journey at MJF Centre Moratuwa. It is a place that has changed my life in every possible way. I was only 11 when I joined the MJF Kids Programme. I continued to benefit from their services until I enrolled in the second intake of MJF Foundation’s Empower Culinary & Hospitality School. The knowledge and skills I gathered at their culinary boot camp opened my mind to so many possibilities that I never knew existed. Upon completing the course, I was lucky enough to find a job as a trainee chef in one of the leading start class hotels in Colombo. During that period, I put my heart and soul into the work I did. One and a half years later, I was elevated to a 3rd Commis chef. This promotion was a step up on the ladder that made me want to take a leap in life and trust myself to do better.”

VOCATIONAL TRAINING The MJF Foundation’s insistence of vocational training recognises the growing demand for trade skills such as carpentry. Since not all young people can attend University, these avenues are potential skilled-labour models that will be key to the growth of any economy.

SANDARUWAN Carpenter, Performer & Assistant Teacher at the MJF Centre Moratuwa, MJF Alumni “10 years ago, I stepped into the MJF Centre in Moratuwa as a child, not having the faintest idea of what I wanted to do or be. Through the MJF Kids & Youth Programmes, I was able to dabble in things that were far from my imagination. The experiences I gathered and the influential people I met at this Centre paved the pathway for me in carpentry & performance theatre. Over the last few years, I mastered the craftsmanship of woodworking, assisted a puppeteer to create an upcycled Giant Puppet and took part in a drama that won awards at the State Children’s Drama Festival.”

Vocational Training at MJF Centre - West equips young men & women with skills to increase their employability and income levels



‘Empower’ chefs through the years

The MJF youth Volunteers support the MJF Centres in a myriad of ways. For some it means helping in a specific programme, others excel at behind-the-scenes work. For the Foundation, their contribution has been invaluable as they become additional inspiration to be emulated by other young people.


Programmes implemented by MJF Foundation provide youth from difficult backgrounds with a purpose beyond their environment


“I joined the MJF Kids Programme in Moratuwa during a difficult time in my life. Every day after school, I used to go to the Centre to learn, practice Sports and engage in activities that allowed me to hone my skills in leadership and public speaking. The MJF Centre deserves my heartfelt gratitude for giving me the opportunity to benefit from its academic & capacity building programmes that were geared to bring out the best in us. I managed to balance my time wisely between studies and work and excel in the Advanced Level exams with a top Z-score, qualifying into one of the best Management Faculties in Sri Lanka. Today, I volunteer at the MJF Centre, Moratuwa as a Maths Teacher”


The MJF Centre-West invests in bringing positive change to the people of the area. Through its youth programme, participants are taught life skills, arts, well-being, leadership and other skills to further equip them for the challenges and opportunities life brings with it. With the purpose of creating a conversation on mental health to support and reach out to those in need of help, a group of youth from the Alumni of Dilmah’s MJF Centre Moratuwa performed in a theatrical production on Suicide Awareness Identification and Prevention to the communities in urban slums. Continuing the conversation on Mental Health, the street skit was designed to be emotional and informative. The drama conveyed a powerful message on the importance of reaching out to people who need help.

CHAMARA “It was at the MJF Centre Moratuwa that I experienced my artistic awakening. Over the years, I have played different roles on-screen and on-stage, trying to explore my strengths as a storyteller, actor and entertainer. In 2019, I got the opportunity to be a part of another MJF production for World Suicide Prevention Day. In the drama, I played the role of a young depressed boy who was on the verge of taking his life. The story deals with his hallucinatory encounter with the Demon of Death. The drama made a powerful impact on the audience, bringing tears to their eyes. Last year, I lost a friend to suicide and I could not choose a better way to pass the message on to other young people, on how to help someone who has difficulty holding on to the will to live”


reducing inequality Supporting vulnerable individuals and communities

“We live in a world where there is no shortage of wealth. The rich get richer but most people do not want to share their wealth with the poor, the vulnerable and the disabled. This is what needs to change. If we could convince a small percentage of the wealthy to give to the global poor, imagine the difference it would make in this world.” – Merrill J. Fernando, Founder Dilmah Tea

51.89% of Sri Lanka’s population are women, and recent surveys estimate that Sri Lanka has a population of nearly 1 million people with physical and neurological disabilities. We believe that lack of child care facilities, resources, early intervention or access to information and cultural norms should not act as inhibitors to this vulnerable populace.



The Women’s Development Programme was developed to challenge stereotypes, educate young girls and inspire other women to develop their own businesses. The Programme provides skills development and training to promote entrepreneurship among women who come from marginalized communities. This also provides the opportunity for women who have children with disabilities to embark on a livelihood of their own and thereby avoid the cycle of debt, poverty and disability.

The Women’s Development Programme enables individuals to support themselves and their families

CHANDANI Communities prosper and countries thrive when women are empowered. “In 2013, I joined the Women’s Development Programme at the MJF Centre in Moratuwa as a Culinary Instructor. I started the first intake of classes with a group of 5 women. A year later, the number of students who came to my daily cooking classes kept increasing. Among them were young girls, housewives and single mothers who wanted to learn to cook as a medium of self-employment. I am happy to say that most of them have now turned cooking into a source of livelihood and earning a good income while providing for their families. As a team, we always make sure we deliver our orders fresh and on time. In addition to the regular orders we get on a daily basis, we also undertake massive batches of eatables for corporate events. I am extremely grateful to work in a place that recognises our worth and values our work. One of the blessings of this profession is that I’ve been allowed to pass on my knowledge to others while gaining something along the way.”



A unique initiative by the MJF Charitable Foundation under the Women’s Development Programme is the Swashakthi Tea Room and Bakery set up at the MJF Centre in Moratuwa. This offers a variety of wholesome organic food at an affordable price while providing less privileged women from Centre with a sustainable means of income.

The MJF Rainbow Vocational Training Programme ensures that youth with disabilities have every opportunity to achieve independence & employment


SAAMA conveys an important message – she wants everyone to know how caregivers can help girls to reach their full potential by giving them an opportunity to shine. The Little Girl Giant Puppet - SAAMA is a collective creation of the MJF Charitable Foundation, Power of Play Inc. and Compania Pirata which introduced puppetry as an income generation method to youth with the hope of encouraging girls, boys, women and men to raise every little girl to be the biggest giant she can be. Saama is made of 85% recycled plastic, paper and other materials collected from Dilmah Staff. That’s what makes her extraordinary. The work began on the 10th of January 2018 and was completed in 3 weeks. Since her premiere in 2018, SAAMA has travelled around the island, meeting students, teachers and parents in primary schools and asking them questions which shed light onto many social norms. SAAMA challenged the adults around her to question the value of the standards we impose on children growing up in Sri Lanka today.


MANKADA MJF FOUNDATION CENTRE FOR EMPOWERMENT THROUGH TRADITIONAL ARTS & CRAFTS Mankada is an all women community-based artisanal pottery centre, an oasis in a desert of sugarcane fields. It provides a less strenuous, flexible working environment and a stable source of income that allows the women of the Centre to spend more time with their children. Inspired by nature, these artisans mould beautiful works of art from clay, keeping a traditional Sri Lankan art form alive.

Moulding beautiful works of clay, the women of Mankada keep a traditional Sri Lankan art form alive in the most rural of areas

ANOMA “As I ventured through my journey at the MJF Foundation’s Mankada Artisanal Pottery Centre, I was able to learn things that were completely outside of my scope of knowledge. Today, I work with women living along the periphery of the Udawalawe National Park, managing the financial and technical responsibilities of our Atelier – here we train our artists to create traditional art & craft with clay and upcycled material. I feel happy when I see my strength and passion become a source of inspiration to many women who have limitless potential to do great things in life.”


WALAWA KANTHA EKAMUTHUWA Walawa Kantha Ekamuthuwa is an all women community-based organization which was funded under the SEP programme. The collective gets regular orders to sew and finish garments from various sources.

year we are faced with a global pandemic and lockdown”. The COVID pandemic dealt a severe blow to small businesses, threatening the livelihoods of men and women like Rasika across Sri Lanka. When the Lockdown was imposed, orders started drying up and Rasika and her group were forced to withhold their production and reduce staffing. “We have spent the past two months trying to figure things out and keep going. In April, we sewed and donated safety kits to people on the front line and in response to our gesture, we received orders from the Embilipitiya Hospital for face masks and protective suits. As the president of the MJFCF’s Walawa Kantha Ekamuthuwa, I always try to look for ways we can build on our strengths and innovate for the better. We have started sewing mosquito nets for local shops now. Business hits highs and lows but we have to adapt in order to thrive in the industry and I am not afraid to meet the challenge.” says Rasika with determination.

PERSEVERANCE OF HOPE Rasika runs a small-scale garment factory with a group of women in a village in Southern Sri Lanka and is supported by Dilmah’s Small Entrepreneurs Programme. “There are 5000 blouses here, they were supposed to be delivered to retail stores in Colombo for the April New Year season last year - a time, our profits usually hit their peak. We suffered massive losses after the Easter tragedy then, and this



Sada Sarana Elders Home in Pitipana is a retirement centre for women with no families to support them in their final years. Since 2008, the Centre has been a home to 50 women, keeping them healthy and happier at heart.

SISTER CELINE “Merrill J. Fernando entrusted me Sada Sarana - Elders Home with the hope of seeing its people being cared for with love and affection. There is never a dull moment at Sada Sarana when the women are together. They keep themselves occupied by engaging in activities of their interests such as reading, knitting, listening to the news of the day and devoting their time for spiritual reflection. Every year, at the Sada Sarana Sale, we give our women the opportunity to sell their hand-made crafts, knits and garments and earn an income through self-employment.”


enabling the disabled Enhancing the quality of life for people with disabilities in Sri Lanka The MJF Foundation has a core theme in disability. Part of its commitment is not just supporting people with disabilities with programmes and therapeutic services but working to ensure that they are effective citizens of Sri Lanka and its economy, and also learn to advocate for other people with disabilities who may not have a voice.

SUBHANI MJF Kids & Sports Coordinator at the MJF Centre, Moratuwa Para Athlete & Disability Advocate


“The MJF Centre in Moratuwa set me off on a whole new track. Over the last decade, I saw myself transitioning into different phases and professions. I started as a student at the Curtiss Institute of Design, served a Volunteer for Rainbow Youth, and then became a Class Teacher. Today I am the MJF Kids & Sports Coordinator at the Centre. It is gratifying to help another person with a disability to discover his / her passion and let it grow. I was recently selected to be a member of the National Council for Persons with Disabilities. As an advocate for disability, I am determined to work for the rights and benefits of people with disabilities like me. I dedicate my time to volunteer at organizations that seek to promote inclusion and participation in society of people with disabilities, with a special focus on women.”


AIDEX (Aid to the Ex-Abled) is an Annual Sports Festival sponsored by Dilmah and Merrill J. Fernando Charitable Foundation. Since its inception, the Annual Sports Festival has been providing a perfect platform for the differently abled to realise their potential and encourage them to challenge themselves to live nondependent lives with dignity. The sports day is more of a celebration of their abilities than a story of their disabilities.

VIPULA Vipula was an infant when he contracted polio. The highly infectious disease paralysed his legs, but his courage remained strong over the years. He’s deft at motor mechanics - a passion which makes him forge ahead. With the support of the Colombo Friend-in-Need Society and Dilmah, Vipula started working from his home-garage in Wattala, modifying and repairing three wheelers. Every year at AIDEX - the Annual Sports Festival for Amputees who are users of the Jaipur Limb, Vipula also takes part in Shot Put and Wheelchair Games.


SRI LANKA GOES GREEN FOR CP - WORLD CEREBRAL PALSY DAY Sri Lanka ‘moved as one’ for World Cerebral Palsy Day in 2019. Joining the global #GoGreen4CP movement, twenty five districts held island-wide CP celebrations with MJF Foundation, marking the day to recognise the estimated 40,000 children and adults living with CP in Sri Lanka. Cakes were cut, trees were planted, yoga mats used and best of all, there was hope, joy and balloons with too many smiles to count. The MJF Foundation and NCCCPDD works with partners to raise awareness and take action to ensure that people with CP and their families have the same rights, access and opportunity as everyone else.



12 students with Cerebral Palsy and other developmental disorders from NCCCPDD participated in IRON KIDS 2018 and 26 students took part in the event held in 2019.

Thatchchayani, an Iron Kid Champion from Dilmah’s NCCCPDD


SAARC SYMPOSIUM Representing Sri Lanka, the MJF Rehab team of 5 therapists attended SAARC Symposium, held in Kolkata in 2019. This was the first conference to implement training on the early detection of CP and early intervention using the LEAP-CP program “Learning through Everyday Activities with Parents” across the SAARC (South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation) countries. With local coordination by the Indian Institute of Cerebral Palsy (IISP), the event attracted over 70 attendees both in person and via teleconferencing. As a result of their performance at the symposium and in recognition of their ongoing support to children with disability and especially Cerebral Palsy, the organisers at SAARC provided a grant worth € 170,000 to further research in CP in Sri Lanka.

THE MJF EDUCATIONAL GRANTS PROGRAMME Raheem, a para-athlete and Shakya, a talented violinist are two talented teenagers who believe in the power of perseverance. They continue to push through barriers and stereotypes to achieve their best. Along with Raheem and Shakya, 55 other students from Colombo Friend-in-Need Society received educational grants worth Rs. 792,900 from MJF Foundation in September, 2020. Since 2014, the MJF Educational Grants Programme supports children with limb deficiencies and amputations at the Colombo Friend-in-Need Society, making sure that they have access to better learning opportunities. They also take part at the Annual Aidex Sports Festival which is organised by Dilmah & the Colombo Friend-in-Need Society to inspire and motivate amputees who are users of the Jaipur Limb.


DILMAH TROPHY BLIND CRICKET TOURNAMENT The Blind Cricket Tournament is part of Dilmah and the MJF Charitable Foundation’s commitment to highlighting the extraordinary talents of the visually impaired, and people with disabilities as a whole. Since 2006, Dilmah and the MJF Charitable Foundation has sponsored the only current Blind Cricket Tournament in Sri Lanka. Working with the Sri Lanka Cricket Association for the Visually Handicapped (SLCAVH), the tournament is organized annually and acts as ‘the tournament’ to select the National team to represent Sri Lanka at the Blind Cricket World Cup every four years. In January 2018, Dilmah sponsored Sri Lanka’s National Blind Cricket team for the Blind Cricket World Cup held in Ajman, UAE. The team came 3rd losing to Pakistan, and winners were India.

INCLUSIVE EDUCATION The Girl Guides & the Scouts Troops at MJF Centre, Moratuwa truly show the spirit of fraternity and the potential of humanity. The girls and boys here work together in inclusive teams attending to their respective duties while assisting their fellow team members who need that extra support. Children and youth with learning disabilities and developmental delays are trained in basic cookery, management skills, leadership and personality development that will enable them to eventually integrate into society as productive individuals. Learning simple tasks such as making a cup of tea, installing the tent, buying groceries and setting up the table can give them the essential tools and skills to be independent, confident & resilient in society.


entrepreneurship Empowering individuals towards dignified living

“We live in a world where there is no shortage of wealth. The rich get richer but most people do not want to share their wealth with the poor, the vulnerable and the disabled. This is what needs to change. If we could convince a small percentage of the wealthy to give to the global poor, imagine the difference it would make in this world.” – Merrill J. Fernando, Founder Dilmah Tea



Dilmah’s Small Entrepreneurs Programme enhances the dignity and self-worth of vulnerable women and men by providing them with the means to build a successful business. As one of the first Foundation programmes commencing immediately after the Tsunami in December 2004, the SEP programme has assisted almost 2,000 small entrepreneurs and their families with the aim of re-building self-supporting communities. The SEP process focuses on incorporating relevant line agency support and better supervision, monitoring and most of all for having better selection of individuals with a real need for SEP grants.

“Better Days with My Boat” Fishing is an essential part of the livelihood of people living on the East Coast, but daily life struggles have undermined the fishing sector in the region since the Tsunami. Rajan from Batticaloa has been working as a fisherman for 32 years. Recognising his needs, Dilmah’s MJF Foundation Small Entrepreneurs Programme provided him with a boat and a fishing net that enabled him to do his job better while overcoming challenges in his life.



SEPs are granted to those individuals with ideas & experiences, ensuring that the business is suited to the individual

The SEP programme rewards high performing microenterprises with additional support and resources to enhance their markets, expand their customer base and improve quality. It also uses Dilmah’s network of vendors and suppliers to provide for higher quality sustainable packaging and branding.

UPUL & NISHANTHIKA “We run a thriving business in banana chips, recognized and initiated with the investment from the Dilmah MJF Foundation’s Small Entrepreneurs Programme. Through ‘Malmee Products’, we have been able to provide around 60 local farmers a good value for their fruits. We source only a particular variety of organic bananas for our chips. In the beginning, we started with 350 bananas per day. Now that a production facility with a new set-up is in place, and we have managed to expand our production to a staggering quantity. For the past 8 years, we have been coming to the Monthly SEP Sale at the Dilmah Head Office. We bring a range of organic products like Banana Chips along with Palm Sugar, Kithul Treacle and seasonal fruits and vegetables.”




The Reform & Integrate Programme, as part of the SEP, focuses on transforming individuals released on parole from the correctional system to lead productive lives by re-building their reputation within the community, and instilling confidence in them to carry on with their lives. Launched in October 2007, the Reform & Integrate Programme is the first of its kind in Sri Lanka, designed to offer a sustainable and dignified life through decent employment opportunities.

Dance became a creative outlet for Amal who was struggling to make a transition to his old life from a troubled past. The MJF Foundation’s Small Entrepreneurs Programme was a source of support to Amal who harnessed his ambition of starting his own Dance Academy, fulfilling his dream of passing the skills and knowledge of traditional folk artistry to others. At his academy, Amal earns a steady income by conducting classes on traditional Sri Lankan Dance practices and also teaching a new generation of young Sri Lankans the art of “Gok Kola” crafts - the art of making decorative crafts from young coconut palm leaves, which is an intrinsic part of decor in traditional Buddhist rituals and ceremonies.



The MJF Foundation reaches out to far-flung villages to mobilise communities through establishments like the Gemi Aruna Society

Located in an extremely rural setting of Gal Oya valley, people in Pahalalanda are immensely benefited by the services offered at the Diriya Resource Centre. The Centre provides community support by granting women of the village the necessary resources to rise above their challenges and successfully thread the needle of their lives. School children, youth and women in the area benefit through educational support sessions, vocational training in scientific dress making, IT and SEPs on a daily basis.


SEETHA Armed with confidence, training, and skills provided by the MJF Centre, blended with her own perseverance, determination, and hard work, Seetha’s quality of life has been lifted to an unimaginable level. When Seetha joined the dress-making course at the MJFCF in Pahalalanda, she knew nothing about sewing. Few months into the course, she challenged herself to master the tailoring techniques and monetise her skills with the support of her teacher, Ms. Rasika. Today, she works as a social entrepreneur, earning a substantial monthly income. Seetha currently sells handmade totes, bags, and garments at her shop which once used to be a small grocery store. Seetha’s dreams are now embodied in her new venture through passion, hard work, learning something new and taking the risk of trusting her skills.

COLOMBO DESIGN MARKET Supporting small entrepreneurs

Potential craftsmen like Upul receive the training and the investment as well as the opportunity to grow their skills

In 2019, Dilmah’s MJF Foundation partnered with Colombo Design Market (CDM) - to promote a variety of sustainable products from rural entrepreneurs across Sri Lanka. The CDM provided a platform for emerging local artisans, farmers, community based organisations and performers including our dedicated group from the Small Entrepreneurs Programme (SEP) - an initiative by the MJF Foundation which aims to enhance the dignity and self-worth of vulnerable women and men by providing them with the means to build a successful business.

The Women’s Development Programme gives greater possibilities of income and self confidence



Retirement is a beginning filled with possibilities and not an end. As life spans increase, a country like Sri Lanka that has an ageing population requires diversification of skills and resources to support a population that does not have enough to sustain their futures. At Dilmah, we believe in preparing our people for a fulfilling and secure retirement. Fifteen employees of Dilmah received grants for microprojects from Chairman Merrill J. Fernando this year. The initiative supported by the MJF Foundation - The Merrill J. Fernando Charitable Foundation’s Small Entrepreneurs Programme recognises the potential of enterprising men and women nearing retirement and helps grow their dream idea into a micro business.



Recognising enterprising people and helping them to find a value for their worth is at the heart of our Small Entrepreneurs Programme (SEP). This is critical especially since the impact of COVID and the lockdown. The first of its kind for an urban area, new opportunities now abound for these 25 women and men from the communities we work with in Moratuwa. The SEP programme will enable them to start or grow their small businesses and venture into new territory with an uplifted income.


commitment to sustainable agriculture Climate smart solutions adapted to meet rural challenges



The Yam Conservation Project was initiated by the MJF Charitable Foundation’s Community Development Centre (CDC) to improve and diversify the social and economic livelihoods of the local communities in Aranayake, through the conservation of traditional yam. This project uses local technologies and knowledge as the basis for seed production and the development of seed banks, and has resulted in significant positive impacts in terms of providing an alternative income source and a viable food security solution.


Director, Community Development Centre, Aranayake “The MJF Foundation’s Small Entrepreneurs Programme has been supporting our initiatives that promote the empowerment of women in agriculture. Through the Yam Project, The MJF Foundation works together with us to generate more awareness, interest and spur the growth and development of Sri Lanka’s native yams that are on the verge of disappearing from our diets. In this process, we get to uplift the lives of 50 women farmers in this area who have the vision, motivation and ambition to work towards their goals. Thanks to Dilmah’s MJF Foundation, we learn, improve and have been able to find value for our products through pop-up sales and markets.”


“BIBILE” SWEET ORANGE PROJECT “Bibile” Sweet Orange Project features the MJF Foundation’s effort to help seasonal sweet orange farmers to mainstream their products. Together with a community-based organization called ‘Gemi Aruna’, the initiative encouraged village farmers to get involved in the project so that they themselves can give life to the crop that has lost its identity. The orange cultivation has been coupled with a fully-fledged water irrigation system which is designed to provide water, under the supervision and expertise of the MJF Group’s qualified and experienced engineers. This water irrigation plant supplies water not only to the orange plants but also to the inter-planting crops such as Murisi Pineapples, grains like Green Gram, Cowpea and other vegetation.


s rural women and com pport p development and munitie u s s mark on neurshi et a throu dati re cc e oun entrep F ss. gh t F ra MJ in e in Th g,


health, nutrition & resources for children with disabilities and families Ensuring the quality and equality of access to health care The MJF Charitable Foundation is committed to maintaining high standards of health amongst vulnerable communities by providing resources for children with disabilities and their families, and by offering community infrastructure equipped with healthcare facilities. The healthcare centres at Dilmah tea gardens serve a population of 3600 plantation workers and their families. The services include emergency care, ECG services, haemoglobin and blood sugar level testing, natal care, family planning, health education, oral cancer and TB control programmes and an emergency ambulance service to handle swift transfer of patients to government hospitals when required.


HEALTHCARE & NUTRITION FOR PLANTATION COMMUNITIES Nutrition The MJF Foundation ensures that every child attending any of its Child Development Centres (CDC) receives at least one balanced meal daily. The mid-day meal programme which has evolved today to include over 2,000 children below the age of 5 years, proved to be an immense success as it addresses a key nutritional gap, thereby adding value to the children’s daily stay at the CDCs.

Healthcare The MJF Health Centres serve a population of 3600 plantation workers and their families. The services include emergency care, ECG services, hemoglobin and blood sugar level testing, natal care, family planning, health education and an oral cancer and a TB control programme. The centres are equipped with an emergency ambulance service to handle swift transfer of patients to Government Hospitals when required. Some centres act as locations for Mobile Awareness Campaigns and other clinics, implemented by the Ministry of Health.



The National Centre for Children with Cerebral Palsy and Other Developmental Disorders (NCCCPDD) located in Kalapaluwawa, Rajagiriya serves as a centre of excellence, learning and acts as a resource hub for practical education for children with cerebral palsy and other disorders and their families. It provides education, therapy and training not only for those living with CP and other development disorders but also for their caregivers and for teachers and professionals working with such individuals with special needs.

NCCCPDD supports children with Autism, CP & other disabilities through Occupational Therapy to promote, maintain and restore independence in activities of daily living, work, play, education & leisure.



The MJF Charitable Foundation and MillenniumIT ESP, with partners Microsoft, Sarva and World Vision Lanka launched disABILITY – an app designed to support children with disability and their families, by connecting them to expert guidance. The app complements the MJF Foundation’s disability advice channel on YouTube in reaching children and people with disabilities in remote parts of Sri Lanka. Launched on World Cerebral Palsy Day, the app is the first of its kind globally. It is available in Sinhala, Tamil and English, and offers an invaluable teletherapy services for people with Cerebral Palsy (CP). The app includes guided disability and development screening, access to paediatricians, early identification and intervention, therapeutic, educational and rehabilitation assistance, and allows caregivers to monitor progress with guidance from the MJF Foundation’s multidisciplinary team.


ONLINE RESOURCE Dilmah launched Sri Lanka’s only trilingual channel on disability

disABILITY offers free, on-demand content for medical personnel, parents and caregivers of children with Cerebral Palsy (CP), Down Syndrome, Autism and other Developmental Disorders who may not otherwise have regular access to medical professionals, therapists and guidance on life skills development. A resource by Dilmah’s National Centre for Children with Cerebral Palsy and Other Developmental Disorders, the channel will share information and provide access to therapy and practical guidance for the care of children with disabilities while supporting families, caregivers and medical practitioners in rural Sri Lanka and South India.

Subscribe to and share your love and support to encourage children with different disabilities to be the best they can be.

ROSHAN Children with Cerebral Palsy know what true strength is all about. Roshan joined Dilmah’s National Centre for Children with Cerebral Palsy and Other Developmental Disorders in 2018. Within a year, the benefits of occupational and physiotherapy to improve his fine motor skills allowed him to progress at his own pace and in his own way. At the Ironman 70.3 which was held in Colombo, Sri Lanka, Roshan was able to successfully complete his race towards the finish line with the support of his walker.


Therapies at NCCCPDD include Speech and Language Therapy, Physical Therapy, Behavioural Therapy, Bobath Therapy, Hydrotherapy and Occupational Therapy


disABILITY advocacy Advancing opportunities for people with disabilities, enabling them to participate in all aspects of community in a meaningful way Through its collaborative nation-wide advocacy efforts, The MJF Foundation and NCCCPDD share knowledge, therapies and services for people with disabilities and grow awareness of the estimated 40,000 people with Cerebral Palsy in Sri Lanka.

Raising awareness of Cerebral Palsy (CP) amongst caregivers and medical professionals, ensuring that people with CP and their families have the same rights, access and opportunity as everyone else.

Hip Surveillance Programme in partnership with the Durdans Hospital

and Boccia game training in Sri Lanka in partnership with the National Paralympic Committee.

In 2018, NCCCPDD launched the first trilingual ‘Augmentative and Alternative Communication’ (AAC) App (Avaz) for Sri Lanka.


More than 40, including therapists, teachers, parents and persons with disabilities have been trained on Appropriate Paper Based Technology (APT) in Sri Lanka.

people from NCCCPDD with Cerebral Palsy appeared on a Television talk show to dispel common myths about Cerebral Palsy and disability. Its purpose was to provide a show with the hope for a country that sees the value of everybody and the potential that comes with acceptance and support. Nearly 70 health professionals were trained on 2D Gait Analysis Programme and Dysphagia Management for Children with Cerebral Palsy.

In 2019, The Foundation held its first ever nationwide CP awareness campaign and worked with the Government, private sector, NGO partners, religious organisations and institutions to spread the message across the 25 districts of Sri Lanka and ensure that families with children with CP are followed up on in terms of knowledge, resources, therapy and referral networks.

Joining the global #GoGreen4CP movement, partners in the 25 districts celebrated World CP Day with the MJF Foundation, marking the need to recognise the estimated 40,000 children and adults living with CP in Sri Lanka.

In a country where disability is considered a social taboo, two young


Working with partners to develop AI based solutions that can be used to follow up on the needs in areas and create community based referrals and access to treatments.

Microsoft in partnership with the MJF Charitable Foundation held its first AI for Accessibility Hackathon in Sri Lanka, bringing together business partners to develop prototypes of AI solutions that can transform daily life, employability, and communication for people with disabilities.

Reaching out to Remote & Rural Communities.

In 2020, the MJF Charitable Foundation and MillenniumIT ESP, with partners Microsoft, Sarva and World Vision Lanka launched disABILITY – an app designed to support children with disability and their families, by connecting them to expert guidance. The app complements the MJF Foundation’s disability advice channel on YouTube in reaching children and people with disabilities in remote parts of Sri Lanka.


The MJF Foundation has partnered with the World Vision Sri Lanka to extend the much-needed services of screening and therapy to the homes of rural families, particularly where the number of children with disabilities is higher and where support is minimal.

The Foundation & NCCCPDD work with a network of civil society organisations to conduct screening camps to identify children with disabilities & training programmes for Community Social Workers and Public Health Midwives to manage children with disabilities.

The NCCCPDD initiated a series of trilingual webinars, featuring locally and internationally renowned experts and professionals to support families having children with special needs during & after the COVID lockdown and to create an opportunity to reach a wider audience.

NCCCPDD has distributed more than 2,400 paediatric wheelchairs at district camps and the centres and gets regular referrals from hospitals. The multidisciplinary team at the MJF Foundation has supported Around the Pearl - a 1400km life changing cycle journey which raises funds for wheelchairs for children with Cerebral Palsy by organising and conducting screening & distribution camps for more than 2400 families with children with disabilities.

NCCCPDD & The Rainbow Centres for children with disability commenced tele-therapy and education for children and youth with disabilities using messaging and communication apps, home-school assignments and counselling of parents and women affected by the lockdown.


medical infrastructure Supporting Sri Lanka’s health sector


NUFFIELD SCHOOL FOR THE DEAF & BLIND Nuffield School for the Deaf and Blind was established in Kaithadi area of Jaffna District in 1956 with 18 handicapped students and 04 members of staff. Today, the school serves the educational needs of the vision and hearing impaired children of the North. The MJF Foundation, together with The German Agency for International Cooperation and the Vocational Training Authority of Sri Lanka signed a tripartite partnership and supported the school by setting up a Computer Lab and by providing equipment for the Carpentry Unit.


Dilhan C. Fernando CEO of Dilmah Tea

“It is a symbol of goodwill from people in the South to people in the North.” Dr. A. Ketheswaran. Provincial Director of Health Services - Northern Province

The MJF Charitable Foundation led the hospital development project with the intent to expedite the revival of the healthcare system in the region to ensure that the catchment population received the best possible services. The hospital serves as a catchment area of 41,000 people from Kayts and its surrounding islands, thereby reducing the furthest travel distance to a hospital to 6km for the people of the area, versus the 16km to the next hospital in Jaffna.

“After the war, snake bites and other unknown bites were a primary threat and key cause for concern in Kayts. Three years later, with regular awareness, development and the accessibility of antidotes and other treatments – the people of the area have experienced a 50% decrease in snake bites. This is a tangible result that has created a lasting change for the people of Kayts.”



With a greater commitment to collaboration and strengthening the public health care infrastructure, the MJF Foundation initiated The Point Pedro Base Hospital project to serve the Northern communities still recovering from almost 3 decades of war. The new wing of the Base Hospital will bring a 3 storey building adjacent to the main hospital with 3 new wards: Psychiatric Ward, Medical & Surgical Ward. The project, funded by the MJF Charitable Foundation and the Ian & Barbara Karan Foundation from Hamburg Germany is expected to be completed in the next few months.

Dr. Kamalanathan

MO - Point Pedro Base Hospital “The MJF Foundation’s Infrastructure Development Project will fulfil the capacity constraints of the existing Base Hospital in Point Pedro by upgrading its facilities to assure the better provision of public medical and healthcare for local communities.”


Improving the quality of life through better access to health care


COVID response The COVID 19 pandemic created hardship in an unprecedented manner for people across the world including Sri Lanka. The MJF Foundation along with its partners assessed the needs and created a multi sectoral response targeting key areas identified at the onset. Key support provided to individuals and communities are listed below. Dilmah Ceylon Tea Company PLC and associated the MJF Charitable Foundation initiated the second phase of its COVID response with the presentation of 10,000 testing kits, virus collection swabs and RNA mini-kits at a cost of Rs. 44 Million to the Ministry of Health, Sri Lanka in June 2020. Procurement of the items was facilitated by Rotary International as part of their support to Sri Lanka’s COVID-19 response, and the donation was made by staff and workers of Dilmah. The first phase of response to the COVID-19 crisis commenced in the first week of April 2020, with dry ration and hygiene pack distribution; by the end of May, over 6,000 families including tea estate and other workers and others in vulnerable communities in North, West and the East of Sri Lanka were benefitted.


COVID RECOVERY PROGRAMME As part of Dilmah’s MJF Charitable Foundation response to the COVID-19 crisis, the MJF Centres in the West & East have been working together with the local communities to meet the needs of children, children with disability, youth, women, and entrepreneurs with livelihoods in agriculture.

OUTDOOR-LEARNING & TELE-THERAPY During the lockdown period, the Centres continued their MJF Kids educational programme with an innovative learning style, which helped the children to cope with the challenges and remain in touch with learning. Dilmah’s National Centre for Children with Cerebral Palsy & Other Developmental Disorders & The Rainbow Centre in the East for children with disability commenced tele-therapy and education for children and youth with disabilities using messaging and communication apps, home-school assignments and counselling of parents and women affected by the lockdown.

MJF out-door learning programme - adapting to the new-normal with creativity and kindness


REVIVING THE CULINARY & HOSPITALITY INDUSTRY IN SRI LANKA The MJF Foundation joined a tripartite partnership with S4IG (Skills for Inclusive Growth) and Chef’s Guild of Sri Lanka by offering an Intensive Refresher Course for 80 chefs and restaurateurs from 4 districts. The practical and theory sessions were held at the state-of-the-art kitchen of the Empower Culinary & Hospitality School (ECHS) in the MJF Centre-Kalkudah in June. Well-known chefs including culinary instructors from ECHS and industry experts participated in two 5-day programmes to guide, support and upgrade the skills of aspiring local chefs and restaurateurs to help them better prepare for any future disruptions and get back to work as parts of the tourism, hospitality sectors gradually reopen in Sri Lanka for business.


With the purpose of bringing climate smart, sustainable solutions to organic farming and introducing an alternative source of income to the communities, the women and men from neighbouring Kumburumulai village commenced a community gardening project during the lockdown at the MJF Centre in Kalkudah, with the support of Dilmah Conservation. The villagers offered their first harvest to the MJF Family during their visit to the Centre in July 2020.


Tuk Tuk Literacy - making reading fun again


The Dilmah Conservation Butterfly Garden located inside the MJF Centre Moratuwa, is home to over 50 species of butterflies, like the gorgeous Blue Tiger Butterfly (Tirumala limniace). The Butterfly Garden also offers serenity for the children, youth, women and men who are a part of the programmes for dignified empowerment at the centre.


Dilmah Conservation

Our Core Commitment to Sustainability Dilmah owes its success to the quality of Ceylon Tea. Our business was founded, therefore, on an enduring connection to the land and the communities in which we operate. We have pioneered a comprehensive commitment to minimizing our impact on the planet, fostering respect for the environment and ensuring its protection by encouraging a harmonious coexistence of man and nature. We believe that conservation is ultimately about people and the future of the human race, that efforts in conservation have been associated with human well-being and poverty reduction outcomes. These core values allow us to meet and exceed our customers’ expectations of sustainability.

Our Vision

Our Mission

A Sri Lankan society in which every individual can experience a quality life in an environment which is healthy and sustainable, with the corporate sector representing and defining the idea.

To develop and implement conservation initiatives that are novel and timely, to cater to national and global needs that will benefit communities and our core business.


Dilmah Conservation has planted over a million trees through multiple initiatives to restore the ecosystem services of the lands we operate on to serve the people and the planet


Milestones Highlights from 2019-2020

Climate Action • The Carbon Neutrality of all Dilmah Tea products was extended from Cradle to Shelf in Australia. • Dilmah Tea powered the 1st Climathon in Sri Lanka to find climate smart agricultural solutions for the island’s Northern region. • Dilmah was invited to represent the Sri Lankan corporate sector in the Blue Carbon Committee, under the Commonwealth Blue Charter.

Environmental Sustainability

Biodiversity Conservation

Nature Education

• Global recognition for IUCN red listing through Dilmah Workshop.

• 25% of packaging waste upcycled to stationary.

• Over 15 000 individuals educated on environmental sustainability

• MEPA Recognition for Marine Conservation. • Identifying species diversity through camera traps within plantations, and habitat protection.

• 23 km of coastal area cleaned on a monthly basis, reducing marine pollution by removing over 6500 kg of waste from the coastal line.

• Creative education through Naturetoon with a weekly reach of 25,000.

• Kayankerni was gazetted as the 18th marine and marine associated sanctuary in Sri Lanka, in April 2019.


climate action Every individual, community and business has an irrevocable commitment to strive for a low carbon economy

“There should be no greater priority than ensuring that the quality of the air we breathe, the rainfall that provides our sustenance and the host of ecosystem services that make human life possible, are protected for our children and their generations.”

Dilmah Conservation established 2 weather stations to monitor varying climatic conditions and weather patterns in Central Sri Lanka and Eastern Sri Lanka

– Merrill J. Fernando, Founder Dilmah Tea

As the first private sector company to establish a Climate Change Research Centre, Dilmah Tea leads the Sri Lankan private sector as the thought leader in addressing climate change - to find smart and innovative solutions to adapt to the growing concerns presented by global warming to our business, livelihood and the environment.


DILMAH CONSERVATION CENTRE FOR CLIMATE CHANGE RESEARCH AND ADAPTATION (DCCCCRA) Pioneering climate change adaptation strategies in Sri Lanka’s corporate sector

When Climate Change is our research focus, we believe that being self-sustainable is a great way to start. The One Earth research station is completely powered by green energy, including the weather station. It is also a zero-plastic and polyethylene zone, to maintain the pristine environment. We are lucky to harvest organic and fresh produce from the vegetable patch in the garden which is a haven for pollinators, specially the butterflies from the butterfly garden.

The Dilmah Conservation Centre for Climate Change Research and Adaptation (DCCCCRA) was declared open on the 28th of October 2017 in Nawalapitiya, Sri Lanka. The centre was operationally active with its first research launched in collaboration with the Foundation for Environment, Climate and Technology (FECT) and the University of Peradeniya, from the 1st of December 2017. Today, the centre is a research hub for local and global researchers.

Climate smart agricultural techniques are practiced within the Organic Garden at the centre


CLIMATE RESEARCH AND EDUCATION Strengthening climate change awareness by sharing knowledge and climate education

To date, the centre has collaborated with global scientific institutions and researchers in Japan and the United Kingdom, whilst also providing facilities and data for multiple climate scientists and research projects in Sri Lanka. Global collaboration research with international experts has shaped the research focus and depth of the DCCCCRA and allowed it to be established as a global point of collaboration to research the effects of Climate Change with a focus on the Tea Industry of Sri Lanka. The scope for further collaborations has exponentially increased with the global research experience at the DCCCCRA.

A study point for

2 International Research Projects


The centre is a pivot point in a global research project studying forest ecosystem changes against nitrogen levels using lichens as indicators headed by Prof. Mark Sutton from the University of Edinburgh

24 Species

8 Research

Camera Trap Project

Climate Change

identified through the


conducted on


Our Climate Change Centre hosted globally renowned Lichenologists at a workshop which was a part of the Association for Tropical Biology and Conservation 2019 Asia Pacific Chapter. It was led by Dr. Gothamie Weerakoon, Senior Curator of Lichens and Slime Moulds at the National History Museum of London and Patricia Wolseley, Scientific Advisor to the Natural History Museum of London; who shared their experience and expertise with a group of emerging global scientists and lichen enthusiasts as the group trailed through the Queensbury tea estate.

Patricia Wolseley identifying lichens on a tree bark with workshop participants

Dilmah Conservation’s publication ‘Fascinating Lichens of Sri Lanka’ is the the only detailed field guide on Sri Lanka’s lichens available nationally



Dilmah together with the Organic Movement of North and East (OMNE) hosted the first-ever Climathon in Sri Lanka. An initiative aimed at raising awareness about climate change as well as to seek future-oriented solutions for Jaffna, Climathon aims at translating climate action solutions into tangible projects. The initiative also focuses on supporting climate-positive businesses and start-ups as well as addressing local policy changes. Students, young entrepreneurs, scientists and professionals worked over 2 days to create solutions that would enable the participants to come up with sustainable solutions to fight the ‘Urban Food Crisis in Jaffna’.

Over 600 individuals were educated on climate change through diverse mediums of art & science

At the core of the programme is an ideathon powered by local organisers; the people who know their cities and climate challenges the best.


CLIMATE SMART AGRICULTURE Transforming and reorienting agricultural practices to ensure food security in a changing climate

Food security and climate change can be addressed together by transforming agriculture and adopting practices that are “climate-smart”. Farmers are under the greatest threat from climate change, but they also play a major role in addressing it. Climate-smart farming techniques can increase agricultural productivity and incomes, make rural communities more resilient to climate change and where possible, mitigate climate change. Local knowledge, as well as the capacity to link research and local activities, plays a key role in scaling up the Climate Smart Agriculture approach to reinforce the resilience of farmers’ livelihoods. Climate Smart Agriculture models on display at the One Earth Centres including hydroponics and biochar application

Dilmah Conservation conducts workshops at the One Earth Centre East to share climate smart agricultural practices and technologies based on research done at the One Earth Climate Change Centre. This includes soil less farming techniques, using biochar in farming and water efficient agricultural practices.


CLIMATE REALITY Collaborations to strengthen private sector efforts in addressing climate change public private partnerships | climate decision making | national strategies

The Sustainable Lifestyle series was launched to guide the everyday citizen on building a sustainable quality of life

Sustainable Lifestyles promotes an interactive dialogue through a series of lectures, discussions and workshops

The Climate Reality initiative was launched in 2018 by Dilmah in collaboration with BSL and UNGC. The inaugural national level dialogue discussion on the impacts of climate change was subsequently followed by a series of different lectures and workshops that increased the climate awareness for over 2500 people including Dilmah staff, plantation officers and the plantation communities. As a part of the Climate Reality initiative, Dilmah Conservation has launched a series of workshops and lectures focusing on food, waste management, water, home gardening, shopping, and clothing to promote sustainable living.



Our entire range of products is now Carbon Neutral



A zero-carbon cuppa for the environmentally conscious consumer FACILITY


Our Carbon Neutral Journey is a classic example of accepting the weight of our actions, acting on mitigatory measures, integration and thereon becoming an inspiration to others. We have achieved net zero carbon emissions for Dilmah by proactive reductions and offsetting of our carbon dioxide emissions. Following calculations of Dilmah’s carbon footprint, Dilmah Tea achieved Carbon Neutral status for the facility in 2017, and for the complete product range in 2018, bringing to its consumers a tea brand that is environmentally friendly, and truly committed to the values of taste, goodness and purpose. In 2019, the scope of carbon neutrality status for Dilmah products has been extended up to its Australian market. Today, Dilmah tea shipped to Australia is carbon neutral up to the shelf. This was achieved through offsetting its carbon emissions from international shipping, storage and distribution. Dilmah has pledged to be Carbon Negative by 2030, which was announced at its very first carbon neutral event - Dilmah School of Tea in February 2020.

The Entire Product Range and The Facility is 100% Carbon Neutral

Carbon Neutral Status Expanded Up To The Australian Market

The First Carbon Neutral Event – Dilmah School of Tea 2020

A Carbon Negative Dilmah by 2030




Carbon Neutral Facility

Carbon Neutral Facility and Product



Dilmah Tea’s evolving journey to Carbon Neutrality and.....Carbon Negativity by 2030


Carb Facility Up to A

IVE 2030


bon Neutral y and Product Australia shelf



Carbon Neutral event: School of Tea

Carbon Negative Dilmah





environmental sustainability Maintaining a balance between economic success, protection of the environment and social responsibility

“Dilmah has an enduring connection with nature. Our tea is accented by the soils, the waterways, the climate, the topography and the many elements of the natural environment. Dilmah Tea is a true product of nature and this understanding and mutual respect for our environment, guides our everyday business decision making as we strive to make more informed choices on our journey of sustainability.” - Dilhan C. Fernando CEO, Dilmah Tea


Greening Batticaloa, is an initiative to plant 1 million cashew trees in Eastern Sri Lanka, to mitigate the detrimental impacts of deforestation and climate change, and economically empower local communities


Cashew nut was chosen because it is a highly adaptive, fast-growing cash crop that is well suited for dry zone climates and soil conditions prevalent in the Sri Lanka’s East



The solar power panels at the Dilmah Headoffice in Peliyagoda, also generate power to the main tea production facility and warehouses


Solar collectors with a capacity to harness 60° of continuous hot air are used to reduce the consumption of firewood in the tea drying process in estates

We continue to drive our efforts towards increasing the reliance on renewable energy while reducing the dependence on fossil fuel, which helps us reduce the carbon emissions resulting from our operations. We are adopting newer and more environmental friendly methods to generate electricity, and increase resource efficiency to further complement our commitment to carbon neutrality.

Supplementing the total energy consumption by expanding the capacity of renewable energy • Dilmah Peliyagoda Premises: 415 kW • Queensberry and Craighead: 150 kW • Eastern Centre in Kiran, Batticaloa: 80 kW We established a Rainwater Harvesting plant to improve resource efficiency at the Dilmah Head Office. It has the capacity to collect up to 20,000 L of rain water, which is used for gardening and other purposes.


REDUCING OUR PLASTIC FOOTPRINT Working towards a more sustainable tomorrow We made a commitment to create awareness of the urgency in eliminating single use plastic and its management, along with the restoration of ecosystems degraded by plastic. We continue to identify new solutions and approaches to mitigate the environmental impact that plastic has on our oceans and other sensitive ecosystems.

Dilmah Conservation takes Dilmah’s #NoPlastic campaign a further step ahead with regular beach cleanups, to encourage proper management and restoration of ecosystems degraded by plastic and creating awareness on the urgency of eliminating single-use plastic

Finding Empowerment Opportunities in Plastic Waste Conserving marine ecosystems through the ‘Beach Caretaker Programme’ together with the Marine Environmental Protection Authority (MEPA) of Sri Lanka. Dilmah Conservations supports overs 50 beach caretakers from coastal communities around the island to maintain 23 Km of Sri Lanka’s coast on a daily basis. The beach caretakers have removed over 6500 Kg of plastic and other non biodegradable material from these sensitive ecosystem. The waste is collected by the local municipalities and disposed responsibly.


‘Dilmah Upcycling’ is a dedicated facility set up to engage in R&D efforts to develop

sub-products like notebooks, plant pots and bags from waste material, and provide livelihood opportunities for women while empowering them. The Group distributed 950+ Dilmah upcycled notebooks at the School of Tea events and Asia-Pacific Chapter - Tropical Biology & Conservation (ATBC) Conference, during the year. Since the establishment of the facility, in the pilot stage, the upcycling percentage of packaging waste was at 3%. During the year under review, this percentage has increased up to 25% showing a remarkable achievement in Dilmah’s drive towards circular economy.

Inspiring youth and public - Plogga event in Kandy - Beach cleanup in Batticaloa

Dilmah has sustainably disposed 8700 kgs of plastic waste from sensitive ecosystems of Sri Lanka


biodiversity conservation We aim to demonstrate conservation as a state of harmony between man and nature

‘As a business with an enduring connection with nature, we wanted to correct the historic imbalance. Together with the local communities, Dilmah is uprooting our precious tea and rewilding part of the Endana Estate to reconnect forest patches. This will enrich the genetic diversity of species and restore this sensitive rainforest ecosystem. Conservation is no longer an option, it is as essential as the air we breathe.’ - Dilhan C. Fernando CEO Dilmah Tea



Activities During the Year • Completed a map indicating zones identified with plant species that would be grown in specified region • Established a field station near the nature corridor

Principal scientist of the project, Dr. Nalaka Geekiyana and the primary advisors of the project Prof. Nimal Gunatilleke on a field visit at Endana.

In 2018, the Founder of Dilmah Tea, Merrill J. Fernando uprooted tea bushes at Dilmah’s tea garden at Endana to create a nature corridor across the estate, reconnecting Sri Lanka’s fragmented forest ecosystems in the region. The initiative looks towards enhancing the genetic diversity around the Sinharaja Rainforest, a UNESCO designated World Heritage site and Biosphere Reserve, by linking the nearby Walankanda and Iharakanda Forest Reserves.

• A tree planting event conducted with stakeholders including community participation and youth groups • A socio-economic survey conducted to see the community’s interest in different livelihood programs • A tree planting event with a fellow corporate entity ( • Increased collaboration among stakeholders. Conducted three stakeholder awareness campaigns.



Sri Lanka Yellowfronted Barbet Megalaima flavifrons Endangered


Ardisia ellipticathunb Native


Gomphia serrata Native

Sri Lanka Junglefowl Gallus lafayetii Endemic

Delwalakanda forest reserve

Main road


Symplocos cohinchinensis Native

Rough-horned lizard

Walankanda forest reserve

Ceratophora aspera Endemic

Gladeye Bushbrown Mycalesis patina Native




Artocarpus nobilis Endemic


m suberifolium Native

Purple-faced Langur

Trachypithecus vetulus Endemic





Natural forests






Endana Forest Corridor for Biodiversity Conservation

In 2018, Dilmah Founder Merrill J. Fernando, uprooted tea plants at the Endana Tea Estate and initiated the construction of a 3 km long linear Nature Corridor to reconnect the isolated Walang Kanda with Delwala Forest which is connected to the Sinharaja Forest Reserve. Endana Estate is home to 180 species of flora including endemic species.


Common Lascar Pantoporia hordonia Native





Vitex altissima Native Forest corridor

Hangamu oya

Keta kela

Bridelia retusa Endemic

Green vine snake Ahaetulla nasuta Native

Kirtisinghe’s frog Fejervarya kirtisinghei Endemic

Endana Biodiversity Corridor provides threatened endemic flora and fauna a means of migrating between habitats to perpetuate their species and escape stressful environmental conditions that may otherwise drive them towards extinction



Sri Lanka is home to 120 amphibian species, of which 105 of these species were identified as endemic; therefore not found in any other part of the world. This level of endemism ranks Sri Lanka amongst the world’s most diverse yet critical Global Amphibian Hotspots. The founder of Dilmah, Merrill J. Fernando signed a memorandum of agreement in August 2019 with the Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust and Global Wildlife Conservation. This works towards updating the global conservation status of Sri Lankan amphibians by building national capacity through an extinction risk-assessment for every species for the IUCN Red List, which would unfold in several stages.


• Initial assessments conducted showing 72 threatened with extinction and 20 critically endangered species • The IUCN portal was updated • Created a scientifically valid distribution maps for every extant amphibian species on the island

Scientists from the IUCN Amphibian Specialist Group collaborating with Sri Lankan scientists at the Red List Assessment Workshop

Dilmah Tea Founder, Merrill J. Fernando signed a memorandum of understanding with global conservation bodies to conserve Sri Lanka’s endemic amphibians.

“The IUCN Red List - A Road to Conservation”, a public lecture held on 9th April with Dr. Simon Stuart, former Chair of IUCN Species Survival Commission.


CARING FOR ELEPHANTS A dedicated centre where one can learn about the importance of elephants Learn all about elephants at Dilmah Conservation’s Information Centre in Udawalawe Awareness plays an important role in addressing human-elephant conflict. At the Dilmah Conservation Information Centre located in the Udawalawe Elephant Transit Home, we bring an immersive learning experience to share information about these magnificent mammals and the important ecological role they play in the wild.

Elephant Transit Home, Udawalawe Caring for two baby elephants named ‘Baby Dilmah’ and ‘Ted’ (named after the New Zealand All Blacks rugby coach, Sir Graham Henry KNZM) at the Elephant Transit Home in Udawalawe. In May 2020, after spending 8 years at Elephant Transit Home, TED returned to the wilderness of Udawalawe, his true home.

Children from the MJF Foundation Kids Programme and Dilmah Tea staff on a visit to the Elephant Transit Home in Udawalawe


Dilmah Conservation has supported the Elephant Transit Home in Udawalawe since 2010 to care for orphaned and displaced elephant calves till they are ready to be released back into the wild


BEE A KEEPER A cross-cutting initiative to promote the sustainable use of bees in agriculture and related ecosystems • Bees provide a range of ecosystem services that contribute to the wellbeing of people whilst maintaining the planet’s life support systems. • Wild and managed bees provide integral ecosystem services with ecological, economic and social value. Dilmah Conservation will set up apiaries and bee colonies in Nawalapitiya, Middeniya, Endana, Kalkudah & Kalpitiya. Each centre will advocate for and maintain sustainable systems ranging from establishing honey-producing cottage industries for villagers, preparing regional pollen keys and pollen calendars for foraging plants to establishing honey collection and processing centres, along with crafting unique flavour profiles for honey. The principal scientific advisor to ‘Bee a Keeper’, Dr. A.I Sirisena is a leading entomologist in Sri Lanka

This project aims to raise awareness on the value of sustainable beekeeping, evaluate the present status of the wild bee population, study the chemistry of honey variants and create replicable apiculture models to uplift communities and improve livelihoods.


Bee boxes at the One Earth Climate Change Centre, the Research Hub of ‘Bee a Keeper’


MARINE CONSERVATION Supporting the conservation of oceanic life

MEPA Award Marine Environmental Protection Authority (MEPA) of Sri Lanka recognised Dilmah’s dedication to Marine Conservation and Coastal Area protection with an award to the Dilmah Founder, Merrill J. Fernando.

Our involvement in initiatives to protect Sri Lanka’s fragile marine ecosystems has contributed towards the national effort in conserving the diverse flora and fauna found underwater.

Kayankerni Marine Conservation Dilmah Conservation in collaboration with the Department of Wildlife, documented the coral reefs and shipwrecks in some of Sri Lanka’s pristine coastal areas in the North and East of the country, particularly Kayankerni between 2011 and 2015. Now led by the Marine Environmental Protection Authority of Sri Lanka, the initiative has been successful in laying the foundation to declare Kayankerni as a Protected Area. Kayankerni was gazetted as the 18th marine and marine associated sanctuary in Sri Lanka, in April 2019.


Stunning coral diversity at the Kayankerni reef, which was declared a Marine Protected Area following Dilmah Conservation’s initial research and base line surveys


nature education Encouraging the conservationist in each of us Recent years have demonstrated a growing disparity between man and nature, especially among younger generations. This disconnection is one of the main reasons for the notable lack of interest shown for environment and nature conservation. Young people who spend more time outdoors and are familiar with nature are twice as likely to see themselves as strong environmentalists and are significantly more likely to express concern about issues such as water pollution, air pollution and climate change. Exposing youth to nature is therefore a crucial step in inspiring the next generation to care about and act on environmental issues. The One Earth Nature Club, initiated by Dilmah Conservation aims to provide this exposure and help foster the next generation of young environmentalists. Through educational programmes including field excursions, workshops and lectures, the club seeks to instill respect and interest in nature within the younger generation.


THE ONE EARTH URBAN ARBORETUM AND TREE SPA Bringing the urban youth closer to nature

The One Earth Urban Arboretum is a rare collection of over 300 species of trees, plants and vines, most of which are endemic to Sri Lanka

Educating 1500+ individuals on sustainable agriculture practices, flora and fauna species, butterfly conservation and forest ecosystem services.

Tree Spa “Tiny urban forests, densely planted with endemic species, grow faster than commercial forests and develop into complex ecosystems. This is mine .. 24 months after it was tarmac, the size of half a tennis court, absorbing carbon and thriving with species identified in Ayurveda as being good for human health. We need to act now to make the world habitable for future generations, and this is one way we can be a part if the solution.” Dilhan C. Fernando CEO Dilmah Tea


YOUTH IN RESPONSIBLE CONSERVATION ‘Youth in responsible conservation’ is a series of workshops dedicated to creating awareness on responsible conservation in Sri Lanka

Young participants at the ‘How to Plant a Nature Corridor’ workshop in Endana

A specialized Wildlife Veterinarian explains Wildlife First Aid to workshop participants


An introduction to bee keeping at the ‘How to Be a Keeper’ workshop

Members of the One Earth Nature Club planting new forest species within the Endana Nature Corridor under Prof. Gunatilleke’s guidance



• Dilmah Conservation curated an urban open-air Butterfly Garden in Sri Lanka to conserve Sri Lanka’s amazing butterfly population. Since its construction in October 2011, it has provided a safe haven for a growing list of butterfly species. Currently nearly 60 of the 247 species of butterflies observed in Sri Lanka have been sighted within the gardens. • Dilmah Conservation conducts regular workshops with our consultant entomologists to educate people on the importance of conserving these pollinators and how to make home gardens more butterfly friendly.


BUTTERFLY IN A BASKET Our purpose is to educate, create awareness and inspire. This starts at the home of Dilmah, our head office in Peliyagoda, Sri Lanka. Staff were presented with a basket of host plants and larval food plants to help them create mini butterfly gardens within their own home gardens. The benefits of using their personal gardens and green spaces for the conservation of biodiversity is an extension of Dilmah Tea’s commitment to the conservation of biodiversity in Sri Lanka.


FIND YOUR INSPIRATION AT DILMAH We want to create a truly sustainable tea industry which is good for people, communities and the planet. For Dilmah, sustainability is a core business imperative that underpins our strategy to build a more valuable enterprise. Our staff is encouraged to participate and get involved in all our environmental and social initiatives. It is our hope that these initiatives will inspire our work force to carry forward these essential practices of environmental conservation and humanitarian work - a core value within our company - as a core value in their lives.

Wetland Clean Up

To restore and protect sensitive ecosystems

Wetland Clean Up To restore and protect sensitive ecosystems Purpose of Christmas

To appreciate the gestures of goodwill and kindness of staff to their families and communities.

Celebrating Baby Dilmah’s Birthday To appreciate the wonder of elephants and the value of conserving the species

Purpose of Christmas To appreciate the gestures of goodwill and kindness of staff to their families and communities

Beach Clean up To understand that we can only leave footprints after the enjoying the gifts of nature


TOWARDS ZERO WASTE, TOWARDS A BETTER TOMORROW Waste to Craft is an initiative taking place right at the centre of Dilmah’s operations at the head office in Peliyagoda. A dedicated focus has been given to the Dilmah factory where the factory generated waste has been repurposed into other useful items. Our production, engineering and housekeeping departments merge their creativity with innovation to create some fantastic items from Dilmah Tea’s production waste, including gum tape, filter paper, foil, regifoam and even plastic binding tapes. The repurposed items, which include bins, handbags, woven baskets, stationary holders and flower pots will be used at the head office.

Waste material from the Dilmah production facility was identified and sorted A pencil holder made from waste sticker tags and packaging rolls

Staff members were encouraged to upcycle these materials using their creativity, imagination and talents

Dilmah is committed to making a change and is determined to shift towards a circular economy and it starts with our waste right here the heart of Dilmah, our production facility! Baskets hand woven using traditional weaving styles, made of plastic binding tapes


PRESERVING TRADITIONAL KNOWLEDGE Creating awareness on cultural heritage

The Heritage Corner at the One Earth Centre is influential in creating awareness on Sri Lanka’s traditional past and heritage

Dilmah Conservation is committed to the conservation of Sri Lanka’s cultural heritage. Throughout we have worked for the social and economic upliftment of the Veddah’s - Sri Lanka’s indigenous community and the Ahikuntaka’s, a community of gypsies originating in India that now reside in Sri Lanka.

The Hela Veda Athpotha (Handbook on Traditional Home Remedies) along with the accompanying Traditional Sri Lankan First-Aid Box is a continuation of Dilmah Conservation’s commitment to revive Sri Lanka’s rich cultural and traditional heritage. Started in 2012 as a part of Dilmah Conservation’s Heritage Conservation programme, this initiative looks forward to sharing the countless benefits of the age-old remedies used and perfected by our predecessors, while ensuring that this knowledge is available to today’s generation and the future.

Sharing knowledge on 600+ traditional home remedies passed through our traditional medicine, Dilmah Conservation published “Hela Veda Athpotha” authored by Palitha S.G. Arachchige

Preserving centuries of ancient practices, indigenous wisdom and goodness of nature, Dilmah Conservation launched the “The Traditional Sri Lankan First Aid Box” with the guidance of traditional medical practitioner Palitha S.G. Arachchige


Ahikuntaka Varigasabha First communal gathering of the gypsy community in 60 years

Veddah Varigasabha The first communal gathering in Eastern Sri Lanka which brought the East Coast Veddahs in contact with other members of the indigenous community

Delft Island Conservation In partnership with Department of Wildlife, Dilmah Conservation conducted a census on wild horses to declare the island’s habitat as a protected area


NATURE AND CULTURAL PUBLICATIONS Making scientific learning available to all

‘Sri Lankawe Sulabha Wanathuru’ is the first publication to be translated into Sinhala by Dilmah Conservation. Prof. Sudheera M.W Ranwala presenting the first copy to Dilmah Founder

Dilmah Conservation presents a collection of 15 books which chronicle the oral histories and traditions of our island country, and detailed descriptions about Sri Lanka’s breathtaking flora and fauna. Some of these publications also include less appreciated species. Authored by leading national experts these publications are also a part of Sri Lanka’s academic curriculum today. These visual guides, rich with simplified and invaluable scientific information, are made available at a fraction of their price, so that both the young and old can easily access this wealth of knowledge and connect with nature.


corporate advocacy Strengthening climate change awareness by sharing knowledge and research climate education | climate research

Dilhan C. Fernando, CEO of Dilmah Tea delivered the plenary address at the Association for Tropical Biology and Conservation-Asia Pacific Chapter (ATBCAP) 2019, held in Sri Lanka. He shared the lessons learnt through Dilmah’s engagement in finding solutions for environmental & social causes, themed ‘Collaboration for a Sustainable Future-A Business Priority’.

Dilmah values sustainability advocacy and realizes the effect of stakeholder engagement on the Company’s overall Sustainability Strategy. It was one of the founding partners of Biodiversity Sri Lanka (BSL), a national platform entirely owned and driven by the private sector. It was established to promote strong engagement of the corporate sector in biodiversity and environmental conservation in Sri Lanka. Dilmah is also a lead advocate of corporate sustainability within the United Nations Global Compact, a strategic policy initiative for businesses that are committed to aligning their operations and strategies with 10 universally accepted principles in the areas of human rights, labour, environment and anti-corruption. Dilmah Conservation is the climate leader for the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC) Network Sri Lanka, and has established a collaborative platform to build climate awareness amongst businesses and the larger community through multiple initiatives.



BIODIVERSITY SRI LANKA Dilmah Conservation understands that collaboration between stakeholders is vital in contributing towards global climate and development goals. In a leadership role Dilmah advocates sustainability and responsible business within the Sri Lankan and global corporate arena. With this aim, in 2012, Dilmah Conservation partnered with the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce and IUCN to initiate Biodiversity Sri Lanka to create a platform where businesses can come together to share experiences and best practices.

Managing Solid Waste and Setting Standards for the Castlereigh Reservoir

Advising the Plantations Sector on Best Practices in Integrated Water Resources Management


Worth Protecting- How Sri Lanka’s tea plantation companies are helping biodiversity thrive (Publication)

Improving Water Quality and Availability in the Plantation Sector through Integrated Soil and Water Resources Management

In 2020, Dilmah Conservation supported Biodiversity Sri Lanka, in publishing “Life – A Compendium of Biodiversity Stories in Hospitality”. The publication presented inspiring examples of best practices in environmental conservation by pioneering entities in the tourism and hospitality sector. It encourages other businesses to follow these guidelines to meet the new norm in sustainability that is unquestionable today.

Exploring the Understudied Caves of Sri Lanka

Dilhan C Fernando, Chairman of Biodiversity Sri Lanka presenting the first copy of “Life” dedicated to Prema Cooray, Director/CEO of Biodiversity Sri Lanka in appreciation of his pioneering role in sustainable tourism in Sri Lanka

The book was launched post-pandemic lockdown in Sri Lanka with the goal of clarifying the importance of biodiversity and nature as an element in any hospitality or tourism product. We as a country and as global citizens have experienced the vulnerability of humans and the resilience of nature. The book describes how we must align the sustainable development of our society and private sector industries with biodiversity and nature. The intended outcome is a changed customer mindset in every industry to understand the importance of the natural environment for our survival Through the years, fueled by strong advocacy towards sustainability and conservation, Dilmah Conservation has supported many crucial initiatives including numerous major and minor initiatives of BSL.


OUR CONSUMER Our consumers play a vital role in each of our initiatives. We owe part of our success to them. We have found tremendous encouragement in the zeal and interest they have taken in our products and initiatives. We make sure to keep the conversation between them and us vibrant; while encouraging their participation in our key commitments.

Nature Related Trivia and Quizzes During the global lockdown, while social distancing was the need of the hour it was also important to feel connected to each other and the natural world around us. We took actions to invigorate the conservationists amongst our audiences on Facebook and Instagram with a daily dose of trivia, challenges and quizzes.


Organic Farming We shared tips and tricks from our publication ‘A Guide to Eco-Friendly Home Gardening’ to get the audience involved in organic farming with everything from how to prepare the soil for planting, to making their own natural pesticides and repellents, in both Sinhala and English languages



Afforestation and facilitative reforestation in abandoned tea lands to create inland carbon sinks

• Dilmah Tea is committed to contributing to the global vision of implementing a green recovery, as the world unites to create meaningful change and recuperate post COVID-19, by extending our scope and vision to contribute towards meeting global climate and development goals. • We look forward to sharing our work and updates from our current initiatives, as we commit to strengthen our purpose for tomorrow.

Cultivating seaweed by growing carbon sequestration sinks to mitigate the effects climate change

Conserving Carbon Sequestration Ecosystems • Cultivating seaweed by growing carbon sequestration sinks to mitigate the effects climate change • Restoring degraded mangrove forests • Afforestation and facilitative reforestation in abandoned tea lands to create inland carbon sinks Restoring degraded mangrove forests



Dilmah’s passion and commitment to preserving the heritage and history of Ceylon Tea is equally matched by its passion and commitment to sustaining the long-term future of the Ceylon Tea industry. Its website on the history of Ceylon Tea ( was established in 2003 and has steadily grown into one of the largest single-industry websites in the world, and its extensive publication on tea planting, Wisdom in the Leaf promises to serve as the A-Z of tea growing for generations to come. Ceylon Tea emerged colossus-like from the ashes of a prosperous coffee industry which was devastated through disease a 150-years ago. This prompted famed author Sir Conan Doyle to pen, “Not often is it that men have the heart, when their one great industry is withered, to rear up in a few years another as rich to take its place; and the tea fields of Ceylon are as true a monument to courage as is the lion of Waterloo”. The ‘History of Ceylon Tea’ project is a tribute to those courageous men of whom Conan Doyle


spoke, that the memory of their sacrifice and dedication in creating a great and life-giving industry shall not be dimmed with time. The tea industry of Sri Lanka, is the lifeblood of the country today, providing direct employment to over 500,000 people, and producing for the world a beverage that is healthy, refreshing and delicious. It is an imperative for the future of this industry that we shall not forget the past, and those that made history in creating our tea industry.

“I have just been enjoying your “History of Ceylon Tea” website; in particular, the pics of Dunsinane Estate, Pundaluoya where my father was the manager 60 years ago. Diana T (Aus) I am researching my ancestors and came across your excellent website so first of all I wanted to thank you for uploading “Tombstones and Monuments in Ceylon”, which I have found very interesting and useful. ” – Robin P (UK)

Review by tea historian Jane Pettigrew

Wisdom in the Leaf is an extensive compendium on Ceylon Tea production by expert and experienced contributors from the plantation and scientific communities. Meant for the tea planter, it is a veritable A-Z manual on tea planting – from field to office, and from ‘creeper’ (trainee) to plantation manager. The publication has been put together with contributions from 20 veteran tea planters with a collective experience of more than 500 years and embellished with contributions from highlyrespected names in the scientific field.

“I am confident that this book is destined to become the Bible of the future Planters, University Students and many others. Gerry Jayawardena - Former Chairman Tea Research Board (2006-2015) Everything about this book bears witness to the Fernando family’s passion for tea and for their industry, to their vision and determination to capture and preserve Ceylon tea’s past, recognise and value it’s present, and pass on everything that has been learnt to future generations of tea lovers and new tea growers and producers. It is quite amazing work that all tea lovers will want to add to their tea library. ” – Jane Pettigrew - Tea Historian, Writer & Consultant

Whilst around 40 per cent of the book is devoted to agricultural, factory and manufacturing practices, all other fundamentals of plantation management have been expansively covered too, making it the most comprehensive publication on tea planting in Sri Lanka. As with the History of Ceylon Tea website, the initial concept for this publication was conceived by Dilhan C. Fernando, CEO of Dilmah Tea, and with his father Merrill J. Fernando’s blessing, this idea evolved into a tribute to tea planters and workers, the stewards of Ceylon Tea. In keeping with Dilmah’s philosophy of ‘making business a matter of human service’, proceeds from the sale of the books will go to the MJF Foundation’s Vocational Training Scholarships for Plantation Youth. The publication is a by-product of the History of Ceylon Tea project, whose Editor David ColinThomé was also the Editor-in-Chief of Wisdom in the Leaf. Many of the veteran tea planters who contributed to the publication have also been major contributors to the History of Ceylon Tea, in a collaboration symbolising Dilmah’s commitment to upholding both, the industry’s history and future. 135

Our Purpose We are committed to creating a sustainable change by protecting our planet and its biodiversity, and empowering communities with dignity, fulfilling our Founder’s pledge to make business a matter of human service.


Conserving Biodiversity: Dilmah is dedicated to protecting the diversity of life on earth, which is integral to a healthy and stable environment

137 MJF Holdings Ltd 111 Negombo Road, Peliyagoda, Sri Lanka. ( +94 11 482 2000 Fax +94 11 482 2001