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Van Rees attracts Dutch funding

The uniqueness of a mechanical blending plant for large leaf teas with particular emphasis on food safety, worker welfare and gender concerns have combined to attract Dutch Government funding to a private sector commercial enterprise.

Van Rees Ceylon Ltd., have qualified for such funding. This is the first instance that a private sector tea exporting corporate entity in Sri Lanka has attracted similar funding and would signal hallmark exclusivity for corporate development. The Netherlands Government has extended such assistance under their PSOM program which covers a matching grant component for the private sector to cover 50 percent of its total invested cost, a spokesman for the company said.

He said this grant scheme has been available under strict conditions to any entity with trade links in any form with the Netherlands. The Van Rees Group has been successful in securing funds for this unique project.

Primarily funding has been identified for installation and operation of an automated tea cleaning and blending system that would blend large leaf teas. The cleaning system has the capacity to extract stones, metal particles, and other extraneous additions, such as strands of hair.

PSOM (Program for Cooperation with Emerging Markets) were attracted to the project because of its unique characteristic of blending large leaf teas. The technology transfer which incorporates innovation and modern concepts are correlative to modernisation of the entire operation.

Additionally installation of this machine would improve working conditions for workers because of its automated infrastructure that would obviate manual handling. The working atmosphere would have a food factory environment and within that ambience safety and hygiene would have a strong presence.

The Group Head Office is in Rotterdam, The Netherlands, with branch offices in producing countries such as Sri Lanka, Kenya, Malawi, Indonesia, Vietnam and China.

They also have direct sourcing from all other producing countries. Consumption markets are serviced through their own offices in US/Canada, UK, The Netherlands, Poland, Russia and Egypt.

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