Hayleys Plantations’ Best Tea Harvester competition concludes | Sunday Observer

Hayleys Plantations’ Best Tea Harvester competition concludes

12 March, 2023
The Top 40 harvesters with the senior management of the Hayleys Group
The Top 40 harvesters with the senior management of the Hayleys Group

Hayleys Plantations concluded its second annual ‘Best Tea Harvester’ competition for 2023 recently.

Organised across Kelani Valley Plantations (KVPL), Talawakelle Tea Estates (TTEL) and Horana Plantations (HPL) the contest is designed to showcase and celebrate the dedication and hard work of the Hayleys Plantations team.

This year’s contest was revived based on popular demand from employees themselves, following a two-year hiatus brought about by the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic.

R. Seethayammah of Somerset Estate of Talawakelle Tea Estates PLC was crowned as the Best Tea Harvester for 2023 from across the entire Hayleys Plantations sector, in addition to winning the Gold Award for Talawakelle Tea Estates PLC after she harvested an incredible 10.42 kgs in only twenty minutes, receiving the highest score of 82.6%. “I am so happy to have won the competition and I want to thank our estate managers, Dr. Roshan Rajadurai and Hayleys for giving us extra training on how to improve our harvesting and the chance to take part. My family and friends have been supporting me and giving encouragement throughout,” Seethayammah said winning a cash prize of Rs. 300,000.

S. Gomathi of Batlgalla Estate won the Gold Award for Kelani Valley Tea Plantations, while M. Vigneshwary from Alton Estates took home the Gold Award for Horana Plantations. Hayleys Plantations offered all Gold Award winners with a cash prize of Rs. 100,000, Silver Award with Rs. 75,000 and Rs. 50,000 for the Bronze Award.

The expert Judging panel consisted of industry specialists from the Tea Research Institute and the senior management of Hayleys Plantations. Competitors were judged based on the quantity and quality of tea they plucked in a set time, and the care they took in maintaining the tea bushes during harvesting.

Hayleys Chairman and Chief Executive Mohan Pandithage said, “Our people are the backbone of our business, and it is our responsibility to acknowledge and reward their unwavering commitment, hard work, and talent. Today Sri Lanka’s tea industry faces significant environmental, social and economic challenges.

“Despite these issues, the industry continues to play an essential role in generating export revenue for the nation. The survival and continued development of tea is therefore a national imperative. That is why Hayleys is leading by example, and continuously investing in the uplift of our tea harvesters and their families, in order to secure a brighter future for our people,” he said.