Halgolla Estate sets global benchmarks with Triple Crown of World Firsts

Halgolla Estate sets global benchmarks with Triple Crown of World Firsts

  • World’s first tea estate to receive the Regenerative Agriculture certification
  • World’s first intellectual tourism concept
  • World’s first tea estate to establish a biodiversity conservation center

Halgolla Estate, a subsidiary of Kelani Valley Plantations (KVPL), proudly announced a historic achievement with a triple crown of world firsts at a press conference bringing together local and global stakeholders in the plantations industry.

The announcement was made during a special ceremony held at the Kingsbury Hotel attended by a prestigious gathering of dignitaries, industry professionals, sustainability experts and academics, including Hayleys Group Chief Executive, Mohan Pandithage, Dutch Ambassador HE Bonnie Horbach, Senior Policy Advisor-Agriculture, Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands – Sri Lanka, Nishan Dissanayake, Deputy Head of the Mission Embassy of Japan In Sri Lanka Katsuki Kotaro. Also in attendance were Control Union Chairman for the Asia region and Board Member Dirk Teichert, Control Union Managing Director- Sri Lanka and Myanmar Roshan Ranawake, Country Representative – International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), Sri Lanka Dr. Shamen Vidanage, IUCN officials, Senior Academia, officials from the Tea and Agriculture sectors, and other important officials from across the Hayleys Group.

Commenting on Halgolla Estates’ landmark achievements, Hayleys Chairman and Chief Executive Mohan Pandithage said: “We are incredibly honored to count such an exemplary estate among our ranks. Halgolla Estate has been steadfast in upholding its values, and their recognition among the world’s best is well deserved. They are a beacon of innovation and sustainability, setting a model for the entire sector and representing the future of the plantations industry locally, regionally, and globally.”

Halgolla’s Regenagri Certification was awarded after a stringent process, evaluating the estate’s approach to farming that enhances that has to adhere to a variety of factors, including preservation of soil health, encouraging biodiversity, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and sequestering of CO2. These audits, known for their rigor and critical nature, ensure full transparency and adherence to the highest environmental standards. The established program also provides farmers with access to additional funding through carbon credit markets and environmental subsidies. Halgolla Estate is piloting this groundbreaking project in collaboration with the Dutch Embassy and Wageningen University in the Netherlands.

Halgolla Estate has set up the world’s first biodiversity conservation center on a tea estate. This initiative represents a significant step towards preserving the rich biodiversity of the region and promoting sustainable agricultural practices. The estate’s efforts in implementing Other Effective Area-Based Conservation Measures (OECMs) are supported by Control Union, its sustainability auditors for the past 20 years. The rigorous environmental audit process conducted by Control Union is a testament to Halgolla Estate’s commitment to transparency and excellence in sustainability.

“The model of sustainability that Halgolla Estate has created is a prime example of the potential of plantations estates in the country. With the country’s renewed vigour towards tourism, combined with Hayleys focus towards value addition, Halgolla is leading the way for what we envision the future of plantations to be,” said Hayleys Plantations Managing Director Dr. Roshan Rajadurai.

In line with showcasing how green initiatives can boost Sri Lanka’s tourism sector, Halgolla Estate’s innovative intellectual tourism model, which has been shared with the government and aligned with the Central Environmental Authority, Forestry Department, and Department of Wildlife, offers a unique blend of education, culture, and sustainability. Halgolla Estate’s participation in the renowned Pekoe Trail further cements its position as a premier eco-tourism destination in the region. This initiative appeals to the growing number of tourists interested in environmental and sustainability efforts, reinforcing Sri Lanka’s commitment to capitalize on these opportunities.

Halgolla Estate’s initiatives align with the broader goals of securing the health of the land and the wealth of those who live on it. The estate’s efforts to transition to holistic farming practices and its pioneering work in intellectual tourism and biodiversity conservation are poised to inspire and guide other estates globally. Halgolla Estate’s triple crown of world firsts marks a new era of sustainability, innovation, and excellence in the tea industry, setting a benchmark for future initiatives worldwide.

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