Sept 24, 2008 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s Hayleys group plans to increase high value vegetable cultivation for export after a pilot project with US aid put farmers in a position to supply top food brands like McDonalds and Unilever. The Hayleys Group is the sole exporter of gherkins from Sri Lanka, processing more than 8,000 tonnes a year, which makes it the second largest exporter in Asia, the statement said.
Sri Lankan gherkins supply well-known international brands such as McDonalds, Burger King, Unilever and Heinz, USAID said.
USAID and Hayleys enabled the 160 farmers to produce new varieties which meet higher quality standards.
“Their relationship with Hayleys provides a direct link between the producers and the buyers without having to utilize intermediaries,” the statement said.
“Hayleys’ direct links to export markets offers tremendous opportunities for Sri Lankan farmers to make the transition from subsistence to commercial farming,” USAID Mission Director Rebecca Cohn said.
The six month pilot project linked 160 farmers in the conflict affected Eastern Province to global agricultu