Janaki Kuruppu, who became the first female to chair the Sri Lanka Tea Board in 2011, has been succeeded by Y.G. Wijeratne.
During Kuruppu’s time in office, Sri Lanka achieved record-breaking export figures and in 2014 sales increased to $1.65 billion (SLRs 213.31 billion), up 6.6% on 2013 and the best ever figure in 147 years of tea growing history. During her leadership, structures, facilities, computer systems, training at all levels, and tea quality have all been improved. Under her direction, in a drive to improve the quality of Ceylon tea, all blending and packing factories were inspected, rated and where necessary upgraded, promotional activities were increased and widened, and as a result, sales have increased overall and in particular in new markets such as the U.S. and China.
The new chairman graduated from the University of Kelaniya, Sri Lanka in economics and holds a master's degree from the University of Grenoble, France. He served in the Sri Lanka Administrative Service from 1974 to 2008, including as additional secretary to the Ministry of Plantations Industries which plays a key role in the economy, taking responsibility for the entire tea, rubber, coconut, cashew, sugarcane and Palmyra sectors. He previously was chairman at Chilaw, Kurunegala & Elkaduwa Plantation Companies, the Rubber Product Manufacturing Corp., and the Land Reform Commission.
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