Gherkins grown by a small family in a rural village of Sri Lanka ending up in a burger served by a global giant in New York may seems like a thing of the future when it comes to CSR initiatives. However, that is exactly what we at Hayleys have achieved. Our “Out Grower” program, which started with humble beginnings, today has reached global highest winning the recognition of programs such as USAID.
Hayleys is an important artery between Sri Lanka’s rural hinterland and prestigious international customers. Entrepreneurial development where we promote “growth with each other for each other” is thus an important part of our strategy in promoting rural employment and agriculture. This program has helped us link the global supply chain with the humble farmers of Sri Lankas rural areas while uplifting the living standards of the small farmers.
Our support to the cultivation of gherkins, which we export to world renowned brands such as Mc. Donald’s and Burger King, by small scale rural farmers in Mahiyangana and Kurunegala is ongoing. The export agriculture sector of our group provides indirect employment to approximately 8,250. Not only do we provide training and extension services to these farmers but also all the input they require and assure buy back of the crop; thus being a catalyst for raising income levels in these areas. In addition to Gherkins, our Out-Grower network (as summarized below) also includes, Gliricidia growers, Tea & Rubber smallholders, coconut fibre suppliers and sub contractors of our diverse manufacturing operations.
Rural farmers linked to this out-grower system receive essential farming inputs such as seeds, fertilizers, and agrochemicals on credit and buyback guarantees on a predetermined price. Before the commencing of cultivation, the company & individual farmer, sign an agreement which indicates the purchasing prices & the purchasing quality standards.