Name Craigmore Plantations (India) Private Limited
GGN 4050373762827 Website http://www.craigmoreplantations.com/
Country India

Profile

Craigmore Plantations (India) Private Limited is the first Tea Plantation Company to receive GLOBALG.A.P. certification in India, in the year 2011 and also has the proud distinction of being the first Tea Plantation Company in the world, to receive the G.A.P award for 2013. Established in the year 1884 in the serene hills of Western Ghats of the Nilgiris, in Tamil Nadu in Southern India, which is one of the largest mountain ranges in Southern India and has a unique bio-diversity hot spot, the Company has about 2000 acres of tea plantations apart from 400 acres of natural forests that have been preserved in its pristine form for hundreds of years, even before the plantations were established and another 600 acres of fuel areas, roads, buildings etc.

Craigmore Plantations (India) Private Limited practices environmentally friendly and sustainable cultivation and manufacturing practices, on all its farms and factories, while providing welfare facilities to its employees that are widely acknowledged by various third parties (certification bodies and buyers) as being the best in the industry, even internationally. Health and Safety and Welfare of its employees and their dependents are of paramount importance to the Company and Employee Welfare plays a great part in the company's way of doing business. Its entire workforce of about 1600 employees and their dependents are provided free housing in Company built and maintained houses, the standards of which are far superior to statutory requirements required as per laws of the land. Over the last few years, the Company has commenced a phased program of totally renovating workers’ housing to make them modern and provide better facilities. 100% of our workers’ houses are provided with 24/7 electricity, potable drinking water supply and attached toilets and bathrooms for each individual house hold. Every household has facilities for waste segregation and disposal, in an environmentally friendly manner, with all non-degradable waste transported out of the plantation for reprocessing and degradable waste taken for natural composting for our fuel areas. The Company owns and operates a 40 bed hospital with modern facilities, and a full time Medical Officer, Registered Nurses, Laboratory Technician, Pharmacist, Paramedical Staff etc. on its roll to provide absolutely free medical treatment for its employees and their dependents, apart from operating three dispensaries in the outlying farms, where full time Registered Nurses are available 24 x 7 to provide first aid and treatment for minor ailments. In all these medical facilities free medical treatment is provided for all its employees and their dependents on the farms. The Company also operates 9 daycare centres where employees’ children under the age of 5 are looked after in a safe and hygienic environment and pre-school training is imparted by trained Crèche Attenders, while their parents are at work. The Company also provides free food (breakfast, lunch and a high protein evening snack) beyond statutory requirements, for all the children who attend the day care centers, to ensure these children are healthy and receive the required daily nutrition. The Medical Department carries out monthly health check-ups for all Crèche (Day Care) going children and monitors their nutritional status and general health and children with any form of malnutrition are provided special diets and additional medical attention. These medical examinations also enable the Medical Department to make early detections and provide specialized treatment to children found with any serious medical ailment. Additional supplements such as Folic Acid and Vitamins are also provided as per medical recommendations to ensure good health of the children, besides undertaking regular de-worming of children etc. In all close to 300 children utilize the day care centers we have on our farms. The Company also runs 3 schools on its farms to provide primary education for the employees’ children, free of cost and over 200 workers children attend these schools.

Besides GLOBALG.A.P. the Company is also certified under four other internationally renowned certification programs that ensures that every aspect of the Company’s operation from Tea Cultivation to Manufacture (Food Safety), to Packing, to Transport, to Employees Welfare, to the Environment are audited and certified by 3rd party auditors annually, to ensure that every aspect of the Company’s operations are of the highest International standard. In fact, Craigmore Plantations (India) Private Limited has achieved the world's highest compliance score of 99.10% for Rainforest Alliance certifications under the Sustainable Agriculture Network standards in 2016. This record of being Rainforest Alliance's most compliant tea plantations has been with Craigmore Plantations since it got itself Rainforest Alliance certified.

Achievements

1. Talent for Agriculture
The company firmly believes that the most precious resource apart from soil that it has at its disposal is the talented employee pool on its rolls. One of the long term goals of the company is to invest in furthering this talent so that all its employees are proficient in the skills required for the job and are synergized towards achieving its vision of being known as the company that is famous for its sustainable agricultural practices and at the same time providing a great work place for all its employees.  

One of the major challenges that the Company faced in the past was the severe shortage of trained and skilled agricultural labour for its operations. To overcome this, the Company set out on an aggressive recruitment drive where both men and women with families, from socially and financially backward regions of the Country way up North, were brought in as raw employee talent. The Company after ensuring that these workers with their families settled down in their new environment and were well integrated into the social fabric of its farms, commenced on a skill development mission, where all these new employees were gradually and systematically trained to become equally skilled and talented as the existing/local employees and favorable conditions were created which encouraged them to rapidly and seamlessly adapt to the requirements of the job and to see themselves as not just talented and equally worthy employees but to also see themselves as stake holders and partners in the Company’s progress.

The Company has trained Staff that meticulously maintains various records, documents and SOP's to ensure complete traceability of its product and these systems are continuously reviewed/upgraded and implemented and also audited by various independent third party auditors to ensure they always remain robust. The Company also conducts various brain storming sessions and Management Review Meetings where continuous improvement criteria in all areas of its operations are discussed, including workers welfare and health, employee safety and wellbeing. The Company is constantly reviewing and revising its own goals, targets and standards, so that, these critical aspects of its operations which is employee morale, their well being and health, soil conservation and rain water harvesting, besides operational aspects like production, productivity, quality, food safety and cost control, are constantly improving and challenging to everyone in the top management to achieve these revised goals and targets. The Company is proud of having a mechanism where forward looking and innovative ideas by its passionate pool of employees are encouraged and there are various instances of tangible value addition having been made in all spheres of its operations through this out of the box thinking approach. In fact, the way of life propounded by the principles of the Company is one of continuous infrastructure development and ethical business practices with adequate environmental safeguards in place, eventually resulting in not only safeguarding and enhancing the value of its assets but also providing a fillip to employee morale thereby instilling a sense of pride and ownership among all its employees.

2. Role and involvement of women and youth:
Craigmore Plantations (India) Private Limited employs a large number of women employees (over 75% of its total employee population) and ensures equal rights to these employees compared to their male counterparts. These women employees are paid identical salaries and allowances as their male counterparts, with absolutely no variations in wages based on sex. The Company conducts periodical awareness programs for its women employees on Sexual Harassment at the work place, women’s rights and AIDS awareness, Pre & Post Natal well being, besides having an active committee to look into complaints of sexual harassment towards its employees. Apart from this, the Company carries out periodical awareness campaigns on family planning as well as medical camps for early detection of various ailments and awareness of cervical and breast cancer amongst women. Craigmore Plantations (India) Private Limited encourages formation of Self Help Groups among women employees with entrepreneurial skills to enable them to have additional sources of income and further improve their living standards. Women employees are also provided equal opportunities while selecting employees in the Supervisory cadre. At Craigmore Plantations (India) Private Limited, all its Corporate Responsibility Programs as well as monitoring of health and nutrition status of the employees’ children of the group are additionally managed by the spouses of the Managerial Staff of the Company. The Company ensures that every child above 5 years of age attends school and in order to ensure that children are not forced into employment before 18 years, the Company does not employ adolescents even though the same is permitted under law and not one adolescent below the age of 18 has been on its rolls, either as a permanent or temporary worker in over 20 years. The Company has developed infrastructure on its estates to ensure that enough local transport facilities are available even inside its premises to meet the travel requirements of youth studying or working in institutions in far off places. The Company also arranges periodical career counseling workshops for the benefit of the children of its employees. The Company involves its employees’ children in campaigns on environmental responsibility, sanitation, occupational and general health so that the next generation as well is groomed in a modern way right from their young age. The Company also provides ample employment opportunities for deserving youngsters from not only within its estates but from outside as well.

The Company has been actively providing employment for large number of young men and women from one of the socially backward regions of the country where high unemployment levels prevail. It is ensured that these workers’ rights are completely protected and they integrate effectively with local population. Special emphasis is given on training and educating these workers about the social ills that prevent the growth and development of these people in the regions where they originate from. Through a series of training and awareness programs these workers are taught about personal health and hygiene as well as about child health and child nutritional requirements, local laws, certification requirements etc.

3. Water Management
Craigmore Plantations receives very low precipitation (just about 800 - 900 MM per annum) and besides cultivating tea with this low rainfall and absolutely no artificial irrigation, it also requires substantial quantities of fresh water for providing water to its 5000 strong resident population, for their domestic use. The company as a policy does not also permit any bore-wells on its plantations to tap underground ground water and is forced to only use water from natural springs and open wells. This therefore requires very detailed planning to conserve it's rainwater for use in dry weather periods and also judicious use of its water.   As the company is completely committed to Responsible water use on its estates and wishes to make this a habit among the residents on its estates, the following actions have been taken in order to conserve this most precious natural resource:

  • The company has totally banned the use of any form of artificial irrigation for tea cultivation. This therefore means that 100% of the tea produced on the group is cultivated only with natural rainfall, even if it means a drop in production levels and productivity levels.
  • The Company has a policy of systematically harvesting all rainwater it receives, so that, the water received through natural precipitation is not wasted at any cost. Towards this, all important buildings located on its plantations are provided with guttering pipes and the water so collected, is taken through pipes joined together to charge the natural water systems so that it can be reused after natural filtration. This Rain Water Harvesting recharges the water bodies that supplies water to various buildings of the company and ensures we have adequate water throughout the year. This work has been planned and systematically carried out for the past many years and every year the company sets aside sufficient funds for this initiative to be taken forward and expanded. Similarly, in almost all tea fields and also other locations where rain water flows naturally, check dams have been built in order to cut down the speed of flow of the water down the hillsides and also in order to recharge the ground water around such check dams, besides providing rain water a chance to soak into the ground and thus recharge ground water tables. This program of building check dams has also resulted in prevention of soil erosion by reducing the velocity of water flowing through our tea fields etc. and trapping precious top soil in these check dams.
  • As a policy, the company does not permit artificial irrigation for the cultivation of tea. All water used is carefully monitored so that its wastage can be identified and eliminated. All drinking water sources are maintained with very high standards of hygiene and upkeep. Water supplied to all housing colonies and buildings is of potable drinking quality which is carefully chlorinated based on scientific recommendations and a close watch on water borne diseases is kept by the company’s medical and welfare department. The Medical & Welfare Department of this company are entrusted with checking quality of water at every source (Well/water tank), every day and recording the same, before it is consumed. By providing each estate with portable water testing equipment, we ensure that no employee or his/her dependent consumes water that is not potable as per WHO standards. Our water sources mainly originate from springs and streams that are maintained in a pristine condition, as the virgin forests from where these originate and pass through are owned and preserved by the company with 24/7 watch and ward. In fact the company allows the local community in the surrounding villages to use these water sources for their use as well, thereby supporting and sustaining the lives of scores of people even outside its farms.
  • Soil and moisture conservation trenches present in every tea field are deepened and cleaned every pruning year, in all fields in order to conserve and harvest rain water in tea fields. These trenches ensure that the water holding capacity of the soils improves and soil erosion is prevented as the velocity of rain water flowing down the hillsides is arrested by these trenches which are cut across the slopes and further rain water is permitted to seep into the soil rather than just flow off the surface of the field only destroying top soil.      
  • All domestic and industrial waste water is filtered through sedimentation and filtration pits provided in all areas of human habitation and the quality of water discharged from these pits is analyzed twice every year, to check and ensure that domestic waste water does not pollute the environment in any way. Similarly, water flowing in the natural water streams on the estates are analyzed to ensure that the quality of the water in the streams does not deteriorate while passing through the plantations as a result of activities carried out on the plantations. These streams that only pass through our plantations and water is not used by us for domestic or industrial purposes at all, is treated as our responsibility to ensure that its quality is improved by the time the same exits our plantations. These practices are strictly followed in order to preserve the aquatic biodiversity in the streams and water bodies. It is also prohibited as per company policy, to use weedicides along stream edges and near water bodies. Vegetative hedges have been developed around all streams, water bodies, well, water tanks etc to prevent drift of agro-chemical sprays that may contaminate these water bodies.
  • The company has a documented policy on Water Conservation and Water Quality Monitoring and Analysis which clearly defines the company’s focus areas and activities in order to conserve water bodies and in ensuring that water sources are not contaminated at any cost due to commercial activities we undertake.

From the above listed salient points, some of the Company’s unique practices which are not only followed in letter and spirit but in fact constitute the Company’s DNA have been elaborated upon which show what makes Craigmore a special place of work and also shows how this rare ecosystem where people live and work with dignity and pride has been created and with great respect to nature.