Co-creating solutions at the grass root to make a difference for dairy farmers 0 65

              Sri Lanka’s smallholder dairy farmers are at the heart of the local dairy industry and an integral part of the nation’s rural economy. 

              This 300,000 strong farmer base supplies 90% of the nation’s local milk – and has the potential to greatly improve their yield of high-quality milk and thus their own income levels, driving a positive impact to the socio-economic landscape of rural Sri Lanka. 

Focused training and development to improve milk yield and quality:

As a dairy co-operative from New Zealand, Fonterra continues to work hand-in-hand with smallholder dairy farmer families, communities, and other partners to create a thriving local dairy industry, having invested over Rs. 3.7Bn into strengthening its local dairy value chain. 

 Managing Director of Fonterra Brands Sri Lanka and Indian Sub-Continent Ms. Vidya Sivaraja explains that as a dairy co-operative at heart, the company is committed to making a tangible difference by sharing expertise and best practices. 

“We have invested in focused training and development initiatives with our farmers centred around the right herd, right feed and right business model to increase milk yield and quality. Our pioneering Training and Demonstration Farm in Pannala opened in 2016 to help us amplify the impact of these initiatives.”

Over the years, Fonterra has trained over six thousand farmers across the nation at its Pannala Training and Demonstration Farm and has welcomed over a thousand visitors from the government, universities, and other institutions.

Co-creating solutions at the grassroots:

In addition to the above programmes in place, Fonterra commenced an initiative to co-create and implement specific solutions together with its dairy farmers through its ‘Dairy Discussion Groups’, organised at the grass root. These solutions were geared to improve milk quality and yield through practical training, the provision of fodder and farming equipment and a workable cost-effective business model.

The solutions being implemented are in line with the imperatives called out by the President’s National Policy Framework. At the centre is the small holder dairy farmer – a focus that has been echoed by the Chairman of the Presidential Task Force for Economic Revival and Poverty Eradication. 

At Fonterra’s Pannala Training and Demonstration Farm, fodder is grown and distributed to neighbouring farmers in the vicinity

Ms. Vidya Sivaraja hands over grass cutting equipment to a Fonterra dairy farmer at a September Dairy Discussion Group.

“Good insights come from the grass root. Such consultations have been valuable in co-creating solutions to help improve milk quality and yield,” says Vidya. “Our discussions only prove that our country is rich in resources, talent and ingenuity. We are committed to championing this potential in line with the nation’s priorities.” 

Dairy farmers participate in Dairy Discussion Group series kicked off by Ms. Vidya Sivaraja and her team.

Fonterra dairy farmer Mr. Dharmashri Thennakoon, one of the beneficiaries of the fodder and equipment distribution programme stated, “The Dairy Discussion Group was a valuable learning experience and we will be able to apply these learnings on-farm. I was very appreciative that this was followed with the provision of grass cutting equipment. We hope Fonterra continues to host discussions such as this in the future where we can all grow together and find solutions as a community.” 

Mr. Indra Jayasinghe, a Fonterra dairy farmer from Kuliyapitiya says, “At a time where accessibility and costs of feed is a challenge, getting extra fodder from Fonterra helped me sustain my operations.”

Global co-operative, local footprint:

Fonterra touches the livelihoods of over 250,000 people across the country through its operations, including traders, retailers, distributors, agents and farmers.

Since 1997, Fonterra Brands Lanka has been collecting Sri Lankan milk for its local dairy portfolio of set and stirred yogurts, drinking yogurts, and fresh and flavored milk. To preserve the quality of this milk, Fonterra has also invested in milk chilling, collecting, and processing infrastructure with pioneering technology that can help define future milk quality standards for the nation. 

The company has also recently accelerated its export efforts of value-added dairy, in alignment with the vision and the imperatives set out by the Presidential Task Force for Economic Revival and Poverty Eradication.

Amongst the many initiatives in place to grow our nation’s local dairy industry, multi-stakeholder collaboration and co-creation of solutions is a refreshing approach, bringing farmers, dairy companies, industry groups and the government together to make a difference. 

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Economic, Social and Environmental impacts of fast fashion Comments Off on Economic, Social and Environmental impacts of fast fashion 4606

  • $400 billion worth of clothing is wasted every year!
  • One garbage truck of clothes is burned or sent to landfill every second.
  • That’s enough to fill 1.5 Empire State buildings every day.
  • And it’s $400 billion of wasted clothing every year.
  • The average consumer bought 60% more cloths in 2014 than in 2000. But kept each item for half as long.
  • The world’s growing middle class is also driving consumption. And a 400% rise in world GDP by 2050 is only going to increase demand.
  • Making cloths uses a lot of the world’s resources. It takes 2,700 liters of water to make one cotton shirt. That’s what one person drinks in 2.5 years.
  • And making and washing one pair of jeans emits the same CO2 as driving 69 miles.
  • The fashion industry also has a heavy human cost… Garment workers in Bangladesh earn less than $100 per month. Just 30% of what they need to live a decent life.
  • There are initiatives to make our demand for clothing less damaging. Germany now reuses half of all used clothing.
  • Scientists are developing new materials that demand less from the environment.
  • And start-ups are encouraging consumers to rent, not buy clothes.

(Source: World Resources Institute)

Modeler : Sudhith Vidhush

How are you changing what you wear?

Think about how many sweaters, scarves and other clothes were given as gifts? How many times people wear them before throwing them out?

You will be surprised to hear probably far fewer than you think. One garbage truck of clothes is burned or sent to landfills every second!

Gone are the days when people would buy a shirt and wear it for years. In a world of accelerating demand for appeal, consumers want – and can increasingly afford – new clothing after wearing garments only a few times. Entire business models are built on the premise of “fast fashion,” providing cloths cheaply and quickly to consumer through shorter fashion cycles.

This linear fashion model of buying, wearing and quickly discarding clothes negatively impacts people and planet’s resources.

Here’s look at the economic, social and environmental implications:

The Economics

According to the Ellen MCArthur Foundation, clothing production has approximately doubled in the last 15 years, driven by a growing middle-class population across the globe and increased per capita sales in developed economies. An expected 400 percent increase in world GDP by 2050 will mean even greater demand for clothing.

This could be an opportunity to do better. One report found that addressing environmental and social problems created by the fashion industry would provide a $192 billion overall benefit to the global economy by 2030. The annual value of clothing discarded permanently is more than $400 billion.

It takes 2,700 liters of water to make one cotton shirt.

Enough water for one person to drink for 21/2 years.

The Environmental impacts

Apparel production is also resource and emissions-intensive. Consider that:

  • Making a pair of jeans produces as much greenhouse gases as driving a car more than 80 miles.
  • Discarding clothing made of non-biodegradable fabrics can sit in landfills for up to 200 years.
  • It takes 2,700 liters of water to make one cotton shirt, enough to meet the average person’s drinking needs for two-and-a-half years.

The Societal impacts

Clothing production has helped spur growth in developing economies, but a closer look reveals a number of social challenges.

For instance:

  • According to non-profit remake, 75 million people are making our cloths today, and 80% of apparel is made by young women between the ages of 18 and 24.
  • Garment workers, primarily women, in Bangladesh make about $96 per month. The government’s wage boards suggested that a garment worker needs 3.5 times that amount in order to live a “decent life with basic facilities.”
  • A 2018 U.S. Department of Labor report found evidence of forced and child labor in the fashion industry in Argentina, Bangladesh, Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, Philippines, Turkey, Vietnam and other countries.
  • Rapid consumption of apparel and the need to deliver on short fashion cycles stresses production resources, often resulting in supply chains that put profits ahead of human welfare.

Designer: Nisansala Deegala
Model: Harini Silva

So, what do we do?

So, what does a more sustainable apparel industry look like, and how do we get there?

We’re starting to see some early signs of an industry in transition. Business models based on longevity, such as Rent the Runway and Gwynnie Bee, are the beginnings of an industry that supports reuse instead of rapid and irresponsible consumption.

Just as Netflix reimagined traditional film rental services and Lyft disrupted transportation, we are beginning to see option for consumers to lease clothing rather than buy and stash them in their closets. Ideally, an “end of ownership” in apparel will be implemented in a way that considers impacts of jobs, communities and the environment.

This is only the beginning of a radical transformation required. Apparel companies will increasingly have to confront the elephant in the boardroom and decouple their business growth from resource use. To meet tomorrow’s demand for clothing in innovative ways; companies will need to do what they have never done before: design, test and invest in business models that reuse cloths and minimize their useful life. For apparel companies, it’s time to disrupt or be disrupted.

By: Cameron Blake

Image Curtsey: Eranga Pilimatalawwe

Ministering To Diners with the True Spirit of Crustacean Celebration 0 1820

By Michelle Alles

We at BizNomics Magazine naturally chose this distinguished brand known as the Ministry of Crab to grace the cover story of our first issue and I am deeply honoured to be the one telling it:

Ministry-of-Crab-Dish-03

When two cricketers and a chef came together to bring a culinary homecoming of Sri Lanka’s legendary lagoon crab to the local populace, they didn’t quite expect such magic to happen. Dharshan Munidasa, with his Sri Lankan-Japanese heritage and eternal drive to serve his guests with dishes made from the freshest and finest ingredients, began a journey that would have patrons clamouring to taste his iconic menu, overseas destinations welcoming MoC on their shores, and the brand even being one of his two restaurants to consistently make the prestigious list of Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants.

When the Ministry of Crab was born, the year was 2011 and it was a time that development was moving at a very accelerated pace in Sri Lanka. The rejuvenation of the 400 year old Dutch Hospital also played a very favourable role in the plan, the site being symbolic of Sri Lanka’s progress at the time, so the pieces knitted together perfectly to form an ideal location that guests could enjoy. Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene came on board to co-own and become ‘Ministers’ in this celebrated venture and the phone began to ring off the hook for reservations as word of the mouth-watering dishes spread around Colombo.

Dharshan, a self-taught culinary expert who prides himself on the fact that he never studied culinary arts, is no stranger to the culinary field. His restaurants, Nihonbashi, Kaema Sutra, and The Tuna & The Crab are already sought after eateries by many. For a chef who works so much with crabs, his personality is anything but crabby and he does a fantastic job of expertly balancing his schedule between all three restaurants. In his well-modulated and mellifluous voice, he credits his staff at all his restaurants who work tirelessly to bring about the success of all the restaurant brands. He is one of the rare few who truly gives credit where its due, thanking his staff by name at the grand celebration held last year to mark the Ministry of Crab and Nihonbashi being ranked in the Asia’ 50 Best Restaurants.

Kumar Sangakkara, a veteran cricketer and former Sri Lankan national captain and Mahela Jayawardene, a batting wizard and former Sri Lankan national captain, need absolutely no introduction to our readers. The two of them remain just as focused in their work ethics as they did in their cricketing careers which elevated them to the heights of fame. They have always concentrated on working with like-minded people with similar ambitions and goals, and it was no surprise that they were more than happy to be a part of the ‘Ministry’, which is an excellent blend of partnership and friendship.

Behind Dharshan’s pleasant and quiet demeanour, there lies a steely determination which has brought him thus far and made him the iconic figure he is today. This, when united with the perseverance and drive of Kumar and Mahela, made no better combination to embark on a journey that would take them to heights few can achieve. The Ministry of Crab is a celebration of Sri Lanka’s finest seafood, from the succulent King Prawns found in the rivers running across the island to fresh Clams and Oysters from the lagoons. The restaurant has been an been an essential part of Dharshan’s journey and this venture alone has gone further and is so unique that many dining cultures worldwide find it interesting and financially viable to invest in.

Ministering To Diners with the True Spirit of Crustacean Celebration

Dharshan is one of the rare souls who value the rich supply of natural resources that Sri Lanka possesses. Coming from a country like Japan that uses every available inch of space, he was fascinated with the large garden at his home and visiting the parks in Colombo, those of which were rare back in Tokyo. Outdoors, animals, fishing and other activities suddenly became more accessible and a part of him. The strong, individualistic Scorpio grew up respecting two food cultures and believing that fusion cuisine was not the best representation of what food really is. Never expecting to come this far in his chosen field, Dharshan’s journey began as a university student when he started cooking for himself as he didn’t like the cafeteria food served on campus.

Ministry-of-Crab-Dish-01 Ministry-of-Crab-Dish-002

After the success of Nihonbashi, it became quite clear that Dharshan had given tuna an exciting place on the plates of Colombo’s diners and it was not long before he decided that crab should follow. Mahela and Kumar, fondly known as ‘Sanga’ to all, told us that the idea for the restaurant was initially spoken about over a glass of wine at a meal and the journey since then has been incredible. Not without its challenges, as can be expected of anything new, the three ‘Ministers’ lived up to their characters, all three of them having learned much and come a long way in their individual journeys, and overcame all odds to create a must-visit restaurant in Sri Lanka and reap the sweet harvest of success.

“I believe in good ingredients making good food. The best representation of food is respect for ingredients, respect for handling them and putting the least amount of work into them to produce an amazing dish. We make food not as a meal, but as joy, as a passion. The secret of making delicious cuisine is simple: amazing ingredients, nothing else. Finding the best ingredients are not always easy, but the meal that they make is always worth it. Stating our individuality and delivering the best product can be challenging, but the end result is what puts Sri Lanka on the map as a culinary destination and keeps the world knocking at our doors,” revealed Dharshan.

Kumar noted that the journey of MoC has been a very exciting one “Sri Lanka is a beautiful island nation, which is reflected in the seafood available to us. Our oceans, unlike those in many Southeast Asian countries, are clean and this is why our seafood is simply amazing. For all of us, it’s been a very interesting journey and for me, this is the realisation of my dream to be part of a culinary experience and I couldn’t have chosen two more excellent partners to travel this road with,” he said.

“Sanga and I love our food and have always been regulars at Dharshan’s restaurants, so when this concept came about, it seemed like an interesting venture and a no-brainer for us to come on board. We are truly proud of MoC’s success and growth. You need to enjoy what you do and that’s exactly what we’re doing. We are in the process of expansion and we are excited to see where it will take us. It’s a journey that we’re relishing and the finish line is nowhere in sight,” said Mahela.

Ministry of Crab Dish

It has been a busy year for Dharshan with popup restaurants and meetings in various countries and brain storming with his staff and teams. There are seven restaurants to open in the next few months so there are even busier times ahead. Despite all that, he has found time to tuck a new venture under his belt, which has helped him realise how much he enjoys planning and designing.

The ‘Next Innings’ for these three gentlemen are not far behind. We look forward to the opening of this venture and will bring you details as events unfold.