Blog Home Tags:
ceylon tea
dilmah
merrill j fernando
sri lanka
tea industry
Print

NEWS: A Life Devoted to Tea & Kindness: Sri Lanka's 'Mr. Dilmah' Celebrates 71 Years of Brewing Cups of Kindness

image loading... by TEA ADMIN, Website Admin
posted Sunday May 09, 2021 05:00 PM

image loading...

TEA ADMIN

Website Admin

About TEA ADMIN

Hey there! If you need assistance, please see our home page and menu to learn how to contact us.

The unmistakable face of the Sri Lankan family tea company Dilmah is Merrill J. Fernando and his invitation to customers: "Do try it!" The first tea grower to offer his tea to the world - picked, perfected, packed at source - and kindness was his cup of tea. The family tea business he formed around an uncompromising commitment to Taste, Goodness & ethical Purpose offers a playbook for business in a post-pandemic era. Faith, determination, dedication to taste, goodness, and ethical purpose characterize the Ceylon tea maker's story as he turns 91, and celebrates 71 years in tea.

Milestones are important. They chart one's progress, whether success or failure. Merrill J. Fernando, the founder of Dilmah, entered the tea trade in 1950, as one of a batch of five local youth to be trained in the esoteric art of tea tasting, then the preserve of the British. Despite the unshakeable self-belief that has taken him to his present eminence in the industry, even he would not have imagined the varied successes that he would eventually garner.

Dilmah is, undeniably, the global face of Ceylon tea. The brand, with the image of its founder, has carried the message of the purity and authenticity of Ceylon tea to over 100 countries in the world. However, it is not only in the promotion of the product that Fernando has made his contribution. Over the years, he has lent his weight to many initiatives that have benefited the industry and Ceylon tea in its totality.

In the early years, he championed several initiatives which created facilitations and remedied inequalities that hampered the local exporter of value-added tea. The tea industry then represented a long value chain, stretching from the local plantation to the retail market overseas, designed for the benefit of the British, allied multinationals and their local associates. He was successful in interposing his authority on this tightly closed system, with a mixture of guile, confrontation and leverage of influence, for the benefit of the local entrepreneur.

The conversion of many traditional orthodox tea factories to the more industrial CTC manufacture, in an uncritical emulation of the Kenyan model, would have become a reality decades ago if not for his reasoned but unrelenting opposition. Had that proposal been implemented, the diversity of Ceylon tea, its uniqueness, would have been obliterated by the depressing sameness of a mass-market product without individuality.

Similarly, the more recent effort to import cheap tea for blending and re-export, the "Tea Hub" concept proposed by exporters who were prepared to sacrifice the singularity of pure Ceylon tea in favour of short-term profit and denial of long-term damage, would have been launched if not for Merrill Fernando's fierce opposition. His was the lone voice raised against this scheme which, had it been implemented, would have temporarily enriched a few but impoverished the hundreds of thousands of producers.

Merrill embodies the philosophy he has always advocated, focusing on the significance that lies beyond success. His desire to share his profits has made an unquantifiable and lasting contribution to his community and beyond. In less-fortunate communities in his own country and overseas, thousands of lives have been touched by the initiatives of the Merrill J. Fernando Charitable Foundation - all funded by the profits of Dilmah tea. The foundation's guiding principle of empowerment with dignity underlines its settlor's wish to genuinely and positively impact people.

Then there is the multitude of biodiversity conservation, restoration, environmental education and research initiatives of Dilmah Conservation, again endowed by the profits from tea. As the passionate teaman celebrates his 91st birthday, his commitment is undimmed. In a corruptible and acquisitive society, it is rare that a successful businessman also becomes a force for the common good. Merrill J. Fernando is clearly one of the very few exceptions.

- -

Click for more eNews + Blog Archives
© All content + images copyright of news/blog providers.
- - -
NOTE: The inclusion of news or advertising in The Tea House Times publication, on our website, or in our online eNews does not constitute endorsement.
- - -
POSTS SPONSORED/PUBLISHED BY TheTeaHouseTimes.com
Weekly eNews is circulated via email. Join list at top of home page.
The Tea House Times is published 6x per year in print & digitally.
INFO - SINGLE ISSUES | SUBSCRIBE | ADVERTISE | CONTACT 
SOCIAL MEDIA - Follow us @teahousetimes 
EDUCATION OPTIONS-
TeaCourse.com | TeaEtiquetteCertified.com | TeaCourseFastTrack.com
ONLINE TRADE SHOW - TeaTradeShow.com

SHARE  THIS


Connecting Businesses & Consumers Since 2003

CURRENT ISSUE

FEATURED ADVERTISERS

CLASSIFIED ADS

DIRECTORIES

Advertisements ⇓

 


 Website Software Copyright 2019, Archieboy Holdings, LLC. 

Component Viewer

A component is the HTML code for a section of a webpage that can be combined with other components to make a complete webpage. Click the component to insert the component code at the bottom of your current page, then customize it.