HJS Condiments expands out-grower network, connects smallholders to global supply chains

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  • Extends out-grower network to new districts to cater to the local market 
  • Provides inputs, training on Agriculture Best Practices to 12,500 farmers across the island 
  • Largest Sri Lankan exporter of processed fruits and vegetables to top global FMCG brands 
  • Out-grower units USDA, EU Organic and Global GAP certified

HJS Condiments Limited, a subsidiary of Hayleys Agriculture Holdings Limited, extended its out-grower network to several new districts, including Badulla, Ampara, Vavuniya, Kilinochchi and Mullaitivu. 

Hayleys Agriculture Holdings Limited is a fully owned subsidiary of the diversified conglomerate Hayleys PLC. The Company, has worked meticulously to improve the livelihoods of farming communities for over three decades, providing agricultural inputs, technical assistance, and extension services. The Group’s pioneering efforts have put Sri Lanka on the map as one of the largest suppliers to global brands such as McDonald’s, Unilever and Heinz and cemented Hayleys Agriculture’s position as the largest exporter of processed fruits and vegetables in the island.

“Smallholder farmers produce more than one-third of the world’s food, yet are some of the worst affected by poverty. However, we believe in the collaborative approach followed by the Hayleys Group; working directly with local farmers to establish a sustainable and mutually beneficial system in providing food security. We started the out-grower network with just 1,000 farmers to cultivate gherkin, and with our support and guidance the number of farmers has grown to over 12,500, comprising different crops.

Thus far, the out-grower network has been established in Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa, Puttalam, Matale, Badulla, Jaffna, Chilaw and Rathnapura for gherkins, jackfruit, banana, soursop, jalapeno pepper, pineapple, papaya, black pepper, chilli, turmeric and vegetables.

There is still low awareness today about the immense value added to global Agri supply chains by Sri Lankan farmers. Therefore, we want to raise awareness and celebrate our invaluable local farmers and their contributions. Our out-grower system will be a crucial driver in helping to build a robust and resilient farming culture catering to both global and local demands,” Hayleys Agriculture Holdings Managing Director Jayanthi Dharmasena said.

Investing over Rs.120 million this year alone, Hayleys Agriculture provides agriculture inputs set to international standards, and the machinery needed to sustain responsible farming practices. Farmers are also provided sound technical assistance from field extension officers to grow and harvest crops sustainably.  

Notably, the company’s recent foray into the local market under the ‘Govi Aruna’ brand resulted in the extension of its out-grower network to Mahiyanganaya, Ampara, Vavuniya, Kilinochchi, Mullaitivu, Kurunegala and Anuradhapura. The new initiative will offer the domestic market responsibly sourced local goods such as spices and coconut oil.

“With the extension and establishment of the out-grower network in more districts, we are also building capacity to meet local market demand as well. This will enable healthy import substitution, thereby conserving precious foreign currency while also empowering Sri Lankan farmers. We will also be providing them with know-how on sustainable agricultural techniques to ensure that they have every opportunity to thrive,” Dharmasena continued. 

The out-grower units are USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) and EU Organic and Global GAP certified under the supervision of accredited certification bodies of Sri Lanka. The company has also obtained the Fairtrade certification to ensure that each rural farmer is treated fairly and guided to purchase the right products needed for farming without exploitation.

“We have worked with HJS Condiments for over four years, and we are delighted with the progress we have made each year. One of the major issues we have during cultivation is pest attacks which spread viral diseases among our crops. As a solution for this, the company introduced two organic chemicals to control pests and taught us how to manufacture them in our farmlands. We have since efficiently controlled pest attacks and have been able to earn consistently higher profit margins,” W. N. M Gunathilaka, President of the Okkampitiya Farmers Organization, said. 

HJS Condiments Limited is an award-winning global manufacturer of processed plant-based products, in Sri Lanka, exporting value-added goods to over 48 countries. The company’s efforts to establish sustainable rural agriculture also won the “Best Corporate Citizen Sustainability Project” Award at The Best Corporate Citizen Sustainability Awards 2020 organized by The Ceylon Chamber of Commerce, for its innovative and groundbreaking project positioning flavored jackfruit in a ready-to-eat form in the international market as a substitute for meat. The project is an extension of the company’s commitment to empower and enhance the livelihoods of its extensive out-grower network which also includes a large group of smallholder women farmers.

Hayleys Agriculture spearheads the Sri Lankan agriculture sector since the 1950s and supports diverse agricultural communities through knowledge sharing while continually innovating and promoting better technology and sustainable farming practices as a socially responsible corporate.

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