A Sri Lankan family firm is challenging multinational companies' control of the global tea industry. Dilmah has become the third largest global tea brand but has turned away from mass market blends.
…in 1988 Fernando founded Dilmah Tea. Today, Dilmah is Sri Lanka’s most recognized international brand.
New York Times
Mr. Fernando has relished his role as the underdog battling the giants of the global tea business. In the last two decades, he has built Dilmah into one of the world’s largest independent tea companies.
A Sri Lankan family firm is challenging multinational companies’ control of the global tea industry. Dilmah has become the third largest global tea brand but has turned away from mass market blends.
Haslinda Amin, High Flyer’s -
...one family’s enduring love affair with tea. A one small family business in Sri Lanka has grown in to a global empire that supplies to more than 100 countries around the world...
His face has sold millions of packets of tea across the world, Merrill J. Fernando is the man behind Dilmah, one of Sri Lanka’s most recognisable and well-loved brand of tea.
writing in LMD Magazine
In many respects, the MJF story is the antithesis of globalisation. It is the tale of success for the small family unit working hard to overcome the power of the multinationals.
In Sri Lanka, Fernando is the man who pioneered the concept of ‘single origin tea’ – picked, perfected, processed and packed right where tea is grown in order to retain its garden fresh flavour and quality.
writing in Friday Magazine UAE
Long before fair trade and sustainability were buzzwords for an eco-conscious generation, Merrill J. Fernando was embodying them through his business.
In rural Sri Lanka, an independent player took on the big tea brands. Merrill J. Fernando, founder of Dilmah, flew to Australia 30 years ago, bearing samples of his Ceylon tea, hoping to sell it. He convinced Coles and Woolworth to stock his teaand,lo and behold he did not go broke as he was otherwise told..
The Washington Times
A push for real tea, world loves Sri Lankan Dilmah …unlike its international competitors’ teas Dilmah is what Mr. Fernando calls "single origin tea", tea grown and processed in the hills and valleys of Sri Lanka.
'Though he suffered setbacks in the 70s, including a nationalization drive by the then ruling government, a serious accident, the sale of his trade name (the firm was called Merrill Fernando and Co), and bank action, Fernando stayed resolute to the idea of having his own brand of tea.'