As part of its pioneering dairy development programme, Fonterra Brands Sri Lanka continues to help build more sustainable dairy farming communities through its Grass Roots Fund, investing over Rs. 33 million in 45 community projects since 2014.
In Sri Lanka, the dairy co-operative sources 10 million litres of milk annually from local dairy farmers for products such as Anchor and Anchor Newdale UHT milk, yoghurt and curd.Within these dairy communities, Fonterra Brands Sri Lanka has been investing in water, sanitation, community infrastructure and engagement projects, and today these projects have had a positive impact on over 30,000 children, teachers, dairy farming families and community members in just two years.
Managing Director of Fonterra Brands Sri Lanka, Sunil Sethi, said Fonterra Brands Sri Lankais committed to creating more prosperous and happier dairy communities, and uplifting their standard of living is a vital component to achieving this goal.
“We are very proud of the positive impact that our Grass Roots Fund has had on these dairy farming communities. To reach over 30,000 people in just two years is a fantastic example of how we are making a real difference to our communities and we plan to continue to build on what we have already achieved.
“We work in collaboration with our partners, Sarvodaya Shramadana Movement, Kansarmen Foundation and the community to identify specific projects that will not only have a positive impact today, but for generations to come,” said Mr. Sethi.
Fonterra Brands Sri Lanka’s Grass Roots Fund has expanded its presence to all eight dairy farming communities. The needs and requirements of these communities vary based on their socio-economic situation.
In some communities, with the guidance of School Development Societies,initiatives have focused on rebuilding and renovating school classrooms to improve children’s learning environments, and improving the availability of clean water supply and sanitation facilities to reduce health and environment risks. These initiatives have already had a major impact helping to increase enrolment and attendance at the schools.
Principal, Wilimbula Vidyalaya, Ms. Lalitha Sirimanna, who recently spoke at the opening of the school’s newly constructed classroom which allowed a further 40 children to enrol for the new term, said; “I find it hard to find the words to convey how much our community values this project, which has provided more children with access to education.
“The parents would never have been able to invest in a classroom as most of them face financial difficulties, and the Fonterra team helped us to fulfil our dream.Education is essential in achieving the goal of sustainable development in Sri Lanka. By helping small schools like this, it will lay the foundation towards this journey.”
In addition to the work with schools, community infrastructure projects have focused on the renovation of hospitals and community centres.
Outside of its Grass Roots Fund, Fonterra Brands Sri Lanka has recently opened Sri Lanka’s first Demonstration and Training Farm, invested in award-winning technology to increase milk quality standards and is piloting and rolling out a milk quality incentive scheme. This is all in the aim of building a stronger and more prosperous local dairy industry.