- Overall winner to be offered cash prize and overseas trip
- Competitors judged by leading industry specialists
- Top three chosen from each Hayleys regional plantation company
Celebrating the hard work and dedication of its most valuable employees in the tea sector, one of Sri Lanka’s highest-ranked plantations groups, Hayleys Plantations will host the inaugural Best Tea Plucker Competition at the Radella Estate in Nanuoya later this week.
Inspired by the one-off national Best Tea Plucker Competition organised by the Sri Lanka Tea Board in celebration of the 150th anniversary of Ceylon Tea in 2018, Hayleys Plantations made the bold decision to carry forward the competition within its estates based on the strong positive response from its employees towards the contest.
The preliminary stages of the competition were held across the three companies – Kelani Valley Plantations PLC (KVPL), Talawakelle Tea Estates PLC (TTEL) and Horana Plantations PLC – which comprise the Hayleys Plantations sector. The winners from each estate will be set to take part in the grand finale on 25 January.
Judged by specialists and senior members of the industry, the final rounds of the competition will bring together families of the participants, the senior management of the Hayleys Group, officers of non-governmental organisations (NGOs) working in the estate sector, in addition to local government officials and well-known industry leaders and officers from the tea and rubber research institutes, while visionary Hayleys Chairman and Chief Executive Mohan Pandithage will serve as Chief Guest at the event.
“The main reason that we wanted to carry forward this initiative was owing to the strong demand from our own employees. Ever since Hayleys Plantations employees took all of the top positions at the very first contest, our team has been eager that we continue to provide them with an opportunity to compete. Very quickly, this event has bloomed into a major fun-filled day for our employees and the estate community as a whole.
“This is an industry which has since its inception been driven forward primarily by the efforts of women, who make up a majority of the workforce, and whose work is critical to ensure the continuing survival of Sri Lankan tea across the globe. This competition is, therefore, one of several initiatives undertaken by our organisation to express our gratitude for the dedication shown by our employees,” Hayleys Plantations Managing Director Dr. Roshan Rajadurai said. The finalists chosen from the initial rounds of the competition held over the past year at each estate, are to compete once again at the Radella Estate and will be judged by an expert panel consisting of industry specialists and the senior management of Hayleys Plantations. Competitors will be judged on the quantity and quality of the tea plucked within a given time period, as well as the maintenance conditions of the tea bush during the plucking process. The top three tea harvesters from each of the plantations companies will be offered awards and prizes, while all the competitors will be presented with a certificate of participation. The overall winner will be chosen from among the three Gold Award winners and will be entitled to a cash prize in addition to an overseas trip. The Silver Award winners will be offered a weekend holiday package in Sri Lanka, while the Bronze Award winners will be presented with gift vouchers from leading retailers. The Hayleys Plantations sector recently cemented its position as a leading tea manufacturer at the National Business Excellence Awards, where KVPL was presented with the Gold Award for Overall Excellence, following in the footsteps of its sister company TTEL which bagged the same Award the previous year. Both companies also jointly secured the Gold Award at the 55th CA Sri Lanka Annual Report Awards in the Plantation Companies category. Similarly, Hayleys Plantations was crowned the winner of Great HR Practices at the National HR Conference in 2018 and 2019. Among the leading and most successful regional plantation companies (RPC) currently operating in Sri Lanka, KVPL, TTEL and Horana Plantations PLC – which together comprise the plantation sector of the Hayleys Group – have consistently set new benchmarks in human resources management and environmental sustainability, by winning awards and accolades at national and international levels, including Gold Awards at the National HR Excellence Awards, Asia-Pacific HR Excellence Awards, Global HR Excellence Awards, South Asian Partnership Summit & Business Excellence Awards (SAPS), SLITAD People Development Awards, Ian Dias Abeysinghe Memorial JASTECA CSR/Sustainability Award in 2015, in addition to the Sri Lanka Health and Wellbeing Special Award, as well as Gold and Silver Awards at the Social Dialogue And Work Place Cooperation Awards. Supported by a legacy and culture of excellence established by its parent, the Hayleys Group and ably guided under the visionary leadership of its Managing Director Dr. Roshan Rajadurai, Hayleys Plantations has been at the forefront of a progressive transformation in the plantation sector. Through a sustained focus on employee welfare and the development of a performance-based culture, Hayleys Plantations is rapidly emerging as a source of innovation and excellence within the industry, and a benchmark in human capital management.