Sri Lanka Hayleys to increase exports to food chains

Feb 03, 2010 (LBO) –Sri Lanka™s Hayleys conglomerate is building a factory in the former war zone in the east to increase exports of pickled gherkins to food companies such as McDonald™s and Burger King.

The partnership will open up new markets for farmers in the east, increase their incomes and expand the economic base of their communities, the USAID statement said.

Sunfrost™s pickled gherkins are exported to international food companies such as McDonald™s and Burger King, as well as to retailers in 32 countries.

With exports valued at 900 million rupees (7.8 million dollars) a year, the economic benefit to Sri Lanka of increased gherkin production is significant, the US aid agency said.

USAID said it has committed 114 million rupees to work with 4,000 farmers in the eastern Ampara, Batticaloa, and Monaragala districts.

Another USAID partnership with the private sector is increasing dairy production in the east.

The two programs will work with 8,000 farmers, benefiting about 40,000 family members by increasing their incomes. Sunfrost, the Hayleys subsidiary that is building the plant, expects to be working with 2,500 farmers by 2012, the US Agency for Int