Brewing a better planet : Bogawantalawa Tea sets global benchmarks in sustainable plantations

 Brewing a better planet Bogawantalawa Tea sets global benchmarks in sustainable plantations

Businesscafe - Amid the rolling green hills of Sri Lanka’s “Golden Valley of Tea” in the island’s central highlands, a revolution in sustainability is brewing at the heart of Bogawantalawa Tea Estates PLC (BTE).

As the world marks Environment Day 2024, BOGA stands at the forefront of a global mission to drive meaningful action on environmental sustainability, embracing the theme ‘Land Restoration, Desertification, and Drought Resilience’ not just in words but through vigorous action.

Delivering a special message on World Environment Day, BTE Executive Director, Lalith Munasinghe emphasized the urgency of ensuring that economic development in the present does not come at the expense of current and future generations.

"Our actions today shape the landscape of tomorrow.

The past 12 months have been the hottest in recorded history, and it is clear that human activity since the industrial age has been the primary driver of these changes.

While our nation is blessed with an incredibly rich natural heritage, we are also all part of a single interconnected global environment, and emissions in industrial centers around the world dictate how all nations will be impacted by climate change.

“While this certainly a daunting challenge, we believe that Sri Lankan enterprises like Bogawantalawa Tea have the potential to lead the world on climate action.

Together with many other Regional Plantation Companies, we have been pioneers in the development of a new generation of sustainable plantation industries that can potentially serve as an example worthy of global emulation.

This World Environment Day, we call on all Sri Lankans to take this message and mission to heart, and rally together to discover sustainable solutions to the defining challenges of our time.”

As the world’s first climate-positive Tea Growing, Manufacturing and Marketing Company Offering Uncompensated Climate Positive Teas certified for product and facility, BTE has been continuously cultivating a deep-rooted commitment to environmental stewardship.

"Our actions today shape the landscape of tomorrow," he stated.

As the tea industry faces numerous challenges, Munasinghe stressed the necessity of sustainability in environmental, social, and financial aspects—referred to as the three pillars of sustainability.

He reaffirmed the company's commitment to sustainable practices that protect the planet's resources for future generations.

"On this World Environment Day, I extend my best wishes and encourage everyone to work together for a better future."

Embracing World Environment Day and its 2024 theme of 'Land Restoration, Desertification, and Drought Resilience,' BTE embarked on a week-long series of programmes aimed at amplifying eco-friendly initiatives and activities with the support of grassroots communities that the company is engaged with.

Land Restoration involves the process of rejuvenating degraded land, making it fertile and productive again.

For tea plantations, this means implementing sustainable agricultural practices that enhance soil health, improve water retention, and boost biodiversity.

Techniques such as regenerative agricultural practices, organic and hybrid organic agriculture, agroforestry, and sustainable soil practices and reforestation are essential.

These practices not only restore the land but also enhance the quality and yield of tea crops.

In celebration of World Environment Day 2024, Bogawantalawa Tea Estates PLC (BTE) orchestrated a series of eco-friendly initiatives, channeling the collective efforts of all stakeholders towards the noble endeavor of environmental restoration.

Anchored by the inspiring slogan, "Our earth is our future, we are the restoration of our generation," BTE united in purpose, striving to weave a lasting legacy of environmental stewardship for future generations.

"In every cup of tea produced at Bogawantalawa Tea Estates, there's a story of sustainability and environmental stewardship," asserts BTE CEO, Feroze Majeed.

"As we embrace the theme of 'Land Restoration, Desertification, and Drought Resilience,' let us forge ahead with purpose, ensuring that Bogawantalawa remains a beacon of environmental responsibility."

He further stated that we embraces World Environment Day 2024 with a deep-seated commitment to sustainability and innovation.

Through our relentless pursuit of eco-friendly practices and research-driven initiatives, we aim to pave the way for a greener, more resilient tomorrow."

The week-long celebration began with an Eco-Friendly Farming Workshop on June 3rd.

This interactive session was tailored for tea estate workers, delving into innovative techniques such as organic cultivation methods, integrated pest management (IPM), and sustainable tea production.

By equipping workers with the knowledge and skills needed to adopt sustainable farming practices, BTE ensured long-term environmental and economic benefits, fostering a more sustainable future for the entire community.

Following the workshop, the Eco-Friendly Tea Estate Clean-Up on June 4th saw employees joining hands in a robust clean-up drive.

Engaging in responsible waste management and recycling initiatives, this activity instilled a deep sense of pride and responsibility towards maintaining a clean and eco-friendly working environment.

The pinnacle of the celebrations occurred on June 5th, World Environment Day, with a series of events at Maliboda Estate in Deraniyagala.

Featuring the participation of local government officials, school children, villagers, workers, and the management of Bogawantalawa, the day was filled with tree planting ceremonies, guest speaker sessions, and interactive exhibits showcasing sustainable farming technologies.

These activities not only raised awareness but also promoted collective action for environmental sustainability.

The outreach continued on June 6th with Environmental Outreach to Schools, where BTE extended its environmental education efforts to local schools.

Engaging programs were designed to educate and inspire the younger generation, empowering them to become advocates for sustainability.

Students actively participated in tree planting programs, contributing to land restoration and learning the values of conservation and responsibility towards nature.

The week concluded on June 7th with a Stakeholder Consultation Program focused on climate-smart practices, sustainability goals, and collaborative efforts.

Government officials, industry partners, and community leaders gathered to build a collaborative approach to sustainability and resilience, underscoring BTE’s role as a leader in driving positive change.

Throughout the celebration, BTE reinforced its commitment to the environment, pledging to tread lightly upon its delicate surface and ensure a brighter tomorrow for generations to come.

With each tree planted and every stream cleaned, the company honored its sacred bond with the earth, showcasing its dedication to the preservation and protection of the environment for future generations.

Sustainability is a journey, not a destination. Already our journey has already resulted in the establishment of the world’s first climate positive tea.

This achievement proves that it is possible to build sustainable, ethical businesses that actually give back more to the environment than they consume. But our work does not end with this milestone.

We are committed to continuously expanding this positive contribution to the environments which our estates are intrinsically connected to.

For our industry, this means that all stakeholders need to accelerate efforts to curb deforestation, and implement sustainable land management practices that prevent soil erosion, and maintain soil fertility, without disrupting existing ecosystems.

In doing so, we believe that Sri Lankan enterprises can help lead the way towards sustainable agriculture systems, and a healthier planet for all,” BTE Director of Low Country Operations, Sustainability and R&D, Dr. Thusitha Bandara said.

Last modified on Sunday, 09 June 2024 15:23