Our Tea

Sri Lanka ranks third among the world's largest producers of tea harvesting leaf widely accepted as superior in taste and fragrance by connoisseurs and commoners alike. Tea is also very much part of the national flavour. From being the island's favourite brew to the distinctive plantation landscape and colonial tradition, the socio-economic imprint of Ceylon Tea has inspired a special place in the already exotic national fabric.

Agarapatana Plantations Pvt Ltd is among the biggest plantations located in the Agras valley region in Sri Lanka. The plantation's holdings include historical properties like Dambatenne Estate situated in the Badulla district in the Uva province of Sri Lanka and ranges in elevation from 1509 m to 1936 m AMSL.

Dambatenne is intrinsically linked to the history of Ceylon tea. Sir Thomas Lipton acquired the property in the 1890s owning it until his demise in the early 1930s. Dambatenne was instrumental in the building of the Lipton Tea empire and, by association, the legacy of Ceylon Tea.

A harvest of nearly 1.5 million kg's of Black Tea each year makes it the largest quantity produced by any tea factory in Uva. These teas are sold under the "Bandara Eliya" garden mark and are still as sought after as in the days of Sir Thomas Lipton with prices bearing testimony to this fact.

Dambatenne Estate has a total land extent of 873 ha. comprising of Bandara Eliya, Dambatenne, Deaculla, Mousakellie and Mahakanda Divisions. The total revenue tea extent is 364.95 ha. Besides tea, fuel-wood (202.2 ha), thatch banks (1.00ha), jungle/patna (107.6 ha), watersheds (29.1ha) and buildings/roads (134.8 ha) make up the full land extent. Secondary forests make up the scattered areas.

"Lipton’s Seat" on Dambatenne’s Bandara Eliya Division, is the highest point in the Badulla district towering over a precipice with a sheer descent of 6000 feet featuring one of the most breathtaking views in the world.

Dambatenne Estate is influenced by two distinct - Uva and Wellawaya - climates rendering the estate's rich biodiversity.

Pita Ratmalie & Beauvais Estates

Pita Ratmalie and Beauvais Estates frequently supply their green leaf to the Dambatenne factory for manufacture. The two estates along with Dambatenne have received Rainforest Alliance Group Certification. Another group of estates is being developed for Rain Forest Alliance certification this year. Four factories are already certified with ISO 22000/HACCP food safety standards and thirteen of our properties have already been certified by the Ethical Tea Partnership in regard to human resources and working conditions.

Agarapatana Plantations has a total land extent of 6,688 hectares under cultivation which includes 6,361 hectares of mature tea and produce the Uva high-grown variety. This year's harvest produced 8,833,818 kg's in addition to another 1 million kg's of bought leaf from smallholdings.

28 fully-equipped factories handle the entire production process. While many manufacturing units are ISO 2000 certified, a current programme is underway to obtain both, HACCP certification and ISO 22000 (food grade) standards as well.

Our choice teas offer a bouquet of distinctive flavours and notes from being grown in a variety of elevations traversing agro-climatic zones. A selection of High, Low and Uva elevation teas such as orthodox/rotorvane, CTC or Leafy manufacture provide the cream of the crop. Although the auction system sells the bulk of our production, we welcome direct export orders for specialty-type teas.

INTERNATIONAL CERTIFICATION

  1. Ethical Tea Partnership for all plantations
  2. ISO 22000:2005 & ISO 9001:2008 certification in Dambatenna, Nayabedda, Balmoral & Glasgow tea factories
  3. Rainforest Alliance approval at Dambatenna, Pitaratmalie & Beauvais estates


Rainforest Alliance Certification

Rainforest Alliance (R.F.A) Certification obtained successfully for “Bandara Eliya" mark.

CSR

Housing, water, childcare and para-medical services figure prominently on our CSR hit list. Through the implementation of integrated and sustainable development programmes and initiatives we continue to ensure better welfare and improved living conditions for our workforce of 14,128 employees and their families.

Energy efficiency

Energy Management and Conservation Initiatives At Agarapatana we continue to pursue energy conservation initiatives. Having pioneered the conversion of several factories from fossil fuel to renewable fuel firing, Company now reaps both economic and environmental benefits by saving on cost of fuel

Health and Safety

In 2011 more prominence was given to health and safety in our sustainability programmes. In this regard, a series of health and safety campaigns has carried out on the estates.