Merrill J. Fernando dedicated his life to tea when in the 1950s, he saw the concentration of ownership in the tea industry in the hands of a few large corporations. This was leading to the commoditisation of tea. He decided that in the interest of tea drinkers around the world, and the crop that his country produced with so much care and artistry, he would fight this process of commoditisation.
Dilmah was presented the “Most Globally Outreached Brand in Sri Lanka” at the Presidential Export Award, presented by H.E. Maithripala Sirisena, the MoDSIT and the EDB.
Dilmah selected as one of Sri Lanka’s Most Admired Companies by the International Chamber of Commerce in Sri Lanka.
Dilmah Founder Merrill J. Fernando honoured by the International Chamber of Commerce as one of the 3 Most Admired Leaders in Sri Lanka.
Dilmah facilitates Colombo Development Dialogue
Dilmah launches Afternoon Tea for the 21st Century - an evolution of our 8 year journey with the Real High Tea Challenge.
Dilmah Launches National Dialogue on Climate change through the Climate Reality initiative
MJF Centre for Dignified Empowerment & Sustainable Development in the East opened by Hon Prime Minister together with Dilmah Founder
Dilmah t Lounge debuts in Iran with 2 Lounges in Teheran
Launch of Brew 1867 – Colombo - Reuniting the two Prefect brews from Paradise Island
Launch of Teamaker’s Reserve & Founder’s Anniversary Range to Celebrates 30 years of taste, goodness and purpose.
Dilmah Tea Lounge launched in Glasgow, Scotland
Dilmah Ceylon Tea product becomes Carbon Neutral covering over 1800 products
Dilmah Tea Founder honoured by World Association of Chefs’ Societies with Lifetime Achievement Award
Dilmah creates a nature corridor linking the Delwala Kanda and Walankanda Forest Reserves
30 Years of Dilmah Tea Taste. Goodness. Purpose. No Compromise.
Empower Culinary & Hospitality School receives prestigious World Chefs Certification
The MJF Centre for Dignified and Sustainable Empowerment model replicated in Sri Lanka’s East
Dilmah Conservation Launched the first Urban Arboretum
Dilmah is a Carbon Neutral facility fulfilling its pledge made in 2014 to become Carbon Neutral by 2017
Merrill J. Fernando honoured with FIRST Award for Responsible Capitalism for improving the lives of underprivileged children and deprived communities
MJF Charitable Foundation develops Kayts Base hospital in North of Sri Lanka
MJFCF’s Empower Culinary and Hospitality School launched, creating new avenues for disadvantaged youth with empowerment through education in the gastronomy and hospitality industry of Sri Lanka.
Merrill J Fernando named Global Businessman at the Sri Lankan of the year awards, Merrill J. Fernando felicitated as ‘Honoured Citizen’ The award by Colombo Municipal Council
Ceylon Tea Services PLC becomes Dilmah Ceylon Tea Company PLC
MJF Kids Programme celebrates its first decade of excellence
The 3rd T-Lounge is opened in founder’s hometown, Negombo, Sri Lanka
DC novel species program describes its first snake species (Dendrelaphis sinharajensis), and the discovers a species of Gecko (Cnemaspis rajakarunai).
DC launches the ‘One Earth Nature Club’, publishes ‘Common Forest Trees of Sri Lanka’
Dilmah’s 107 Global partners sign Carbon Neutral Dilmah Pledge
In research project supported by Dilmah Conservation 8 lichen species new to science were discovered. Including a new species discovered within Dilmah’s Queensberry estate and so named ‘Heterodermia queensberryi’.
Merrill J Fernando addresses the main forum at World Chefs Congress as the only true voice of the farmer
Dilmah Conservation inaugurates Sri Lanka’s first Climate Change Research Station in Dilmah’s Queensbury estate in Nawalapitiya
DC launches Merrill J. Fernando Eco-Innovation Awards
MJF Charitable Foundation opens The National Centre for Children with Cerebral Palsy and Development Disorders
Dilmah first T-Lounge in India
Dilmah’s school of tea receives WACS certification
2015 - New species of shrub frog named after Dilmah, Pseudophilautus dilmah
Dilmah T-Lounges in Indonesia, Malaysia
Dilmah Real High Tea Global Challenge
Dilmah Founder Merrill J. Fernando honoured with Oslo Business for Peace Award
DC publishes ‘An introduction to Common Spiders of Sri Lanka’ and ‘Recognising deadly venomous Snakes from Harmless snakes of Sri Lanka
Dilmah founder, Merrill J. Fernando takes pledge to make Dilmah Carbon Neutral by the year 2017.
Ahikuntaka cultural center to preserve the heritage of the community established in Kudagama by DC
8 new species of frog discovered under DC’s Novel Species program
Veddah Handicraft and Pottery Centre was declared open by DC
Thoppigala heritage center opened
FSSC 22000 – Certification scheme for food Safety Systems including ISO 22000: 2005 , ISO/TS 22002-1 and additional FSSC 22000 requirements
Dilmah T-Lounge at Chatham opened
Teamaker and the Mixologists Programme
First Real High Tea Challenge in the Middle East - Dubai and Abu Dhabi
Dilmah Conservations together with the IUCN and Chamber of Commerce set up the first private sector environmental body, the Sri Lanka Business and Biodiversity Platform.
First species under DC’s Novel Species Paving the Way for Biodiversity Conservation described. The species was named Polypedates ranwellai.
First Real High Tea in New Zealand and Singapore
Dilmah embarks on a partnership with Shangri-La hotels worldwide
Veddah community clan gathering was supported by DC
Dilmah Conservation Sustainable Agriculture Research Center set up at Moratuwa
Launch of Teamaker’s Private Reserve
Ahikuntika (Gypsy) community’s 2011 Varigasabha or clan meeting, the first of its kind in 6 decades, organized by the Dilmah Conservation
DC launches large scale investigation on current Dugong populations in Eastern Sri Lanka, acquiring valuable information that can serve as a base for Dugong research in the future.
Launch of Dilmah Real High Tea Consumer and Professional Challenge in Australia
Inauguration of Tea in the Five Senses
DC launches ‘Greening the East Project’
British Retail consortium Global Standard for Food Safety certification obtained
Merrill J. Fernando celebrates his 80th birthday
Dilmah pledges a core commitment to sustainability
Dilmah School of Tea inaugurated in Colombo
First International Tea School established at the Institute Paul Bocuse in France
Dilmah Conservation sets up a visitor information centre at Udawalawe Elephant Transit Home.
Dilmah celebrates its 21st Anniversary and the Founder’s 60th year in tea
Under the guidance of Dilmah Conservation, Dilmah’s tea estates begin applying Biochar into soil. Biochar is a soil enhancer produced using organic biomass, in this case, waste tea.
Inaugural Dilmah Chefs and the Teamaker Australia programmes
Dilmah awarded as Superbrands
Dilmah wins Best Corporate Citizen Award
Dilmah wins People’s Export Brand of the year at the SILM-Nielsen Peoples Awards
First Dilmah tea sommelier competition outside Sri Lanka held in Myanmar
Inaugural Dilmah real High Tea Challenge in Sri Lanka
Launch of the Dilmah Exceptional Range of Teas
Official inauguration of Dilmah Conservation
The inaugural outdoor event for MJF Kids “Pahan Tharuwa” held in Colombo
MJF Charitable Foundation launches the MJF Kids Programme, to nature the hidden talents of the kids from the under privilege families around the Dilmah Factory
Dilmah Launches the Tea Gastronomy Revolution with “The Culinaire”
Dilmah receives Presidential Merit Award for its contribution to the preservation of the environment
Dilmah receives award from Medinge Group for its work as a Brand with a Conscience
MJF Foundation Launches Small Entrepreneur programme to support the Tsunami victims
December 26th Tsunami hits south coast of Sri Lanka
Launch of Dilmah T-Series and first Dilmah T-Lounge at Trans Asia Hotel (Presently Cinnamon Lakeside)
History of Ceylon Tea website set up: historyofceylontea.com
First Dilmah Global Partner Conference at Trans Asia Hotel, Colombo
The MJF Charitable Foundation is officially inaugurated
MJF Plantations purchases a controlling interest in Kahawatte Plantations Ltd
Dilmah Sponsors Sri Lanka Cricket
MJF Group acquires 70% share in Forbes & Walker (Pvt) Ltd
MJF Plantations Ltd invests in Talewakelle Plantations Ltd and Elpitiya Plantations Ltd
Dilmah Tasting and Packing Factory awarded ISO 9002 Certification for tasting
New Dilmah factory built at 111, Negombo Road, Peliyagoda, Colombo
Dilmah Founder launches the “Do Try it!” campaign
Dilmah Tea launched in Australia
Merrill J. Fernando is asked to supply prepacked teas to Russia
Merrill J. Fernando establishes Ceylon Tea Services Ltd
MJF sells MJF Co Ltd
MJF considers retiring from the tea industry
MJF registers MJF Exports Ltd
MJF Co Ltd makes 8.2 cents profit per pound of tea sold, highest net profit over Brooke Bond
Ceylon becomes a Republic and changes its name to Sri Lanka but the tea industry keeps its old name
Dilhan C. Fernando is born
Malik J. Fernando is born
MJF appointed Managing Director of AF Jones
MJF is appointed a director of AF Jones and buys AF Jones with 2 partners when the company owners decide to return to England
Spends 12 months in London with Joseph Travers & Sons Ltd
Merrill J. Fernando starts work with AF Jones
Ceylon gains independence
Ceylon Tea Centre opens in London’s Regent Street
Merrill J. Fernando born in Negombo
Tea Research Institute - TRI established
Colombo Tea Traders’ Association established under the auspices of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce
First tea auction in Colombo
Railway from Colombo to Kandy opens
James Taylor lays out the first tea plantation in Ceylon
First tea seeds arrive from Assam at Ceylon’s Royal Botanic Gardens at Peradeniya
Reverend Ringletaube suggests growing tea in Ceylon