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Colombo, Sri Lanka, July 14, 2008—
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, and John Keells’ subsidiary, Ceylon Cold Stores, will work together to strengthen linkages in the dairy industry in Sri Lanka. IFC’s advisory services package to John Keells aims to boost sustainable sources of income and improve livelihoods of farmers in rural areas by introducing best practices in quality control, production, access to finance, and supply chain linkages.
IFC will carry out a diagnostic study of the cooperatives, their production facilities, and the local farming community and its financing needs to help Ceylon Cold Stores identify specific gaps for intervention. The objective is to develop a replicable model for use by other dairy farmer cooperatives.
Ceylon Cold Stores is expanding its dairy and milk products offerings by outsourcing production arrangements using dairy producer cooperatives. The dairy farmer cooperative society has nearly 4,000 members and the society-run factory employs about 25 young people from farm families. The new model will allow cooperatives to participate in the value chain by encouraging them to produce flavored milk and dairy products such as yogurt under the company’s technical supervision.
Jit Gunaratne, President of the Consumer Foods and Retail Group of John Keells Holdings, said, “IFC’s support will help us improve the productivity levels of these cooperatives, add value to our business, and enable us to make the model replicable.”
Gilles Galludec, IFC Country Manager for Maldives and Sri Lanka, said, “As part of this project, IFC will analyze supply chain operations. Effective interventions will support our joint objective of developing a replicable model that will reach more farmers and make a wider impact. We are happy to partner with Ceylon Cold Stores, as its strategy aligns with our larger objective of developing small and medium enterprises.”
The first pilot satellite production facility was identified at Sagaruwanketha, a village in Sri Lanka’s central province, where under the technical supervision of Ceylon Cold Stores a cooperative-run factory manufactures yogurt, iced coffee, and other flavored milk products.
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, fosters sustainable economic growth in developing countries by financing private sector investment, mobilizing private capital in local and international financial markets, and providing advisory and risk mitigation services to businesses and governments. IFC’s vision is that people should have the opportunity to escape poverty and improve their lives. In FY07, IFC committed $8.2 billion and mobilized an additional $3.9 billion through syndications and structured finance for 299 investments in 69 developing countries. IFC also provided advisory services in 97 countries. For more information, visit
IFC has committed more than $200 million for 26 projects in Sri Lanka since 1970. IFC’s current country exposure is over $150 million in equity, debt, and guarantees, with investments in private infrastructure exceeding $60 million. In 2007, IFC committed more than $20 million in new investments, including over $10 million to local financial institutions through the IFC Global Trade Finance Program. With donor funding from the Netherlands and Norway, IFC also provides advisory services to help create a business enabling environment and support value addition to firms through capacity building programs, training, and research.
About Ceylon Cold Stores
Ceylon Cold Stores is a subsidiary of John Keells Holdings, with business interests in transportation, ports, hospitality services, consumer foods and retail, property development and management, financial services and information technology related services. John Keells Holdings is Sri Lanka’s largest conglomerate listed on the Colombo Stock Exchange. Since its modest beginnings as a producer and exchange broker in the early 1870s, the company has been known to realign and reinvent itself constantly while pursuing growth in various sectors. Today, it is considered a benchmark of the local economy. John Keells Holdings is also committed to sustainable development and greater social responsibility. It is rated SL AAA (Sri) by Fitch Ratings Lanka Ltd. For more information, visit
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