At Brown & Company PLC (Browns), sustainability means driving operational excellence across all areas of the organisation, while ensuring that we meet our social responsibilities to the people and communities we work with.
Sustainability for us, is also equated to responsible resource use and environmental safeguards to minimise any impact our operations have on the environment. Browns has a presence in several sectors of the economy that contributes significantly to national growth.
These include sectors such as agriculture and plantations, healthcare, tourism among others, and therefore, in recognition of its scale and impact, Browns recognises the importance of ensuring sustained and productive growth. The long history the organisation enjoys in Sri Lanka has also resulted in strong and close links with stakeholders, which Browns is committed to maintaining. Some specific initiatives undertaken was in support of the agriculture and poultry sectors, with an emphasis on education so as to improve their livelihoods in the long-term.
‘Browns Shakthi’, integrated CSR brand of the Browns Group is committed to elevate the living standards of marginalized communities by embedding corporate social responsibility (CSR) as a part of the company business policy.
Reinforcing its name and the mission, ‘Browns Shakthi’ highlights the urge and commitment of the company to be a driving force to help the needy and be their strength to stand on their own feet. ‘Browns Shakthi’ creates a platform for all of its stakeholders including employees, senior management, customers, principles and investors to engage in CSR activities and promote social integration to enhance socio-economic values.
The organisation is well known as a pioneer in agricultural mechanisation in Sri Lanka, changing the face of the agriculture industry and enriching the lives of farming communities. Browns has extended this support by working with the Government to provide farmer education programmes that helps them maximise their efficiency and yields.
Browns entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with the Farm Machinery Training Centre (FMTC) to provide training programmes for farmers on agricultural mechanisation.
The FMTC is a state institution appointed by the Department of Agriculture and is responsible for sharing of information and knowledge on agriculture among farmers, agriculture students and all relevant Government and private institutions. Browns reaches out to farmers in the Kurunegala, Puttalam, Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa Ampara, Trincomalee , Batticaloa and Moneragala districts, where most of its customers are based.
The Company also offers the ‘SAPSA Sisu Nena Pahana’ programme for students of agriculture studies to educate them on the use of farm machinery. Browns revived the formerly state-owned Hingurana Sugar factory, creating 1,000 jobs in direct employment and supporting over 4,000 farmers through its out-grower network.
The factory operations have improved livelihoods of the farming communities and contributed to the growth of the local economy in the past two years. The Gal Oya factory also runs a water purification plant that provides purified water to over 2,000 families in the area.
The Browns Veterinary Pharmaceuticals Division also conducted farmer training and education programmes. One such programme was conducted for clientele of one of its main customers – Shantha Vetmedicare in Kobeigane (North Western Province, Sri Lanka).
A farmer education programme was also conducted in Kirindiwela in collaboration with Nevil Farms, on chronic diseases facing poultry and treatment methods, and on ways to increase productivity of the farms.
Browns has taken the lead in expanding the scope of its services to provide education and awareness building for farmers on how they can sustain and grow their businesses. Brown & Company PLC’s Veterinary Pharmaceutical sector recently joined hands with Animal SOS Sri Lanka towards creating a rabies-free country. Browns will be providing free rabies vaccinations for these outreach programs, while also providing printed educational material as well as food samples. Other Divisions of the organisation continued to support charity events and causes.
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