It’s true that Ceylon Tea hasn’t got a long history as Chinese tea. Tea was first grown commercially in Sri Lanka (Ceylon) by Scottish planter James Taylor in 1867. Eventually, Ceylon Tea became one of the finest tasting teas in the world thanks to her overall, well balanced tasting profile with ideal strength, body, aroma and flavour. During this short history, Asia’s Sweetheart (Sri Lanka) had the honour of having highly skilled plantation workers, specially tea pluckers. They are the unsung heroes who really contributed for the betterment of “Pure Ceylon Tea”. As Daily FT had reported, Talawakelle Tea Estates (TTEL) made history after the company emerged as overall winners at the inaugural Hayleys Plantations Best Tea Plucker Competition 2020.
The early stages of the Hayleys Plantations Best Tea Plucker Competition were held across the three companies – TTEL, Kelani Valley Plantations PLC (KVPL) and Horana Plantations PLC – which comprise the Hayleys Plantations sector.
The winner Palaniselvi plucked an incredible 9.7 kg of prime tea in just 30 minutes – amounting to a harvesting rate of 19.4 kg per hour (kg/h) – and topping the judges’ rankings with a score of 88.63%.
Hayleys Plantations will be providing Palaniselvi and four of her family members with an all-expenses paid tour to India as well as an immediate cash-prize of Rs. 40,000 over and above the title of Best Tea Plucker at Hayleys Plantations group for 2020.
Other Winners of TTEL
Silver and Bronze winners of TTEL: M. Pushpalatha from Somerset Estate and A. Iresha Rajalekchumi for Great Western Estate.
Horana Plantations Winners
Gold Winner: S. Benedict Mary of Bambarakale Estate with a score of 80.58% and a harvesting rate of 8.45 kg/h.
Silver & Bronze Awards: N. Renuka of Alton Estate and Anandakumari of Gaouravilla Estate.
“This firm belief is what has led to the development of HR and employee wellbeing policies that are now considered as undisputed global best practices, in addition to the pioneering of strategies – including revenue sharing, mechanisation and crop diversification – which undoubtedly will be fundamental to the continuing prosperity of Sri Lankan tea for centuries to come,” Dr. Roshan Rajadurai, Managing Director of Hayleys Plantations asserted.
The final round of the contest was thereafter hosted at the Somerset Estate in Radella.
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