Ceylon Cold Stores helps nurture local vanilla industry
The Kandy Vanilla Growers’ Association (KVGA) recently felicitated Ceylon Cold Stores at its eighth anniversary celebrations, in recognition of its efforts to nurture and promote Sri Lanka’s vanilla industry. Present on the occasion were, President of Ceylon Cold Stores Ltd Jith Goonarathna, Vice President of Ceylon Cold Stores Ltd Neil Samarasinghe and several other officials from the KVGA.
According to a Cold Stores press release, President of the Kandy Vanilla Growers’ Association Muthubandara Madugalla said that in today’s profit-oriented corporate world, it was encouraging to see how CCS was actively involved in uplifting and developing the local vanilla industry, and also using locally grown produce in its ice creams.
“When our members initially went into mass scale production, we did not know anything about vanilla processing techniques. It was the personnel from CCS who patiently taught us the finer points and even went a step further by purchasing our entire produce. The friendly relationship that exists between CCS and the members of our association has grown into one of strength and mutual respect.”
“The fact that CCS has taken its Elephant House Ice Cream to the world is also an endorsement of the quality of locally grown vanilla beans. We do not use artificial fertilisers and insecticides. This is also an industry suited to both the young and the old especially women. It empowers them and gives them a good and steady source of income,” Madugalla added.
President of Ceylon Cold Stores Ltd Jith Goonarathna said that the benefits of this project are manifold. “Firstly there is a considerable saving in valuable foreign exchange. We buy the locally produced and processed beans to extract vanilla essence and therefore do not need to import. A burgeoning industry also means employment for hundreds of people and thus a change in their quality of lives. We consider this a national responsibility and are committed to uplifting Sri Lanka’s vanilla bean industry.”
100% natural vanilla essence is a key ingredient in the world renowned Elephant House Vanilla Ice Cream. A project to extract essence from processed vanilla beans was first initiated at its factory in Ranala, Kaduwela in 2002.
Some 2500 farmers are engaged in the profitable cultivation of vanilla in the Central Province in Matale, Kandy, Kurunegala, Kegalle and Nuwara Eliya. It has also proved to be an ideal home garden crop.