Pungent and spicy with a very slight woody flavour, sun-dried ginger of an ayurvedic variety is used in the production of our flagship brand of Elephant Ginger Beer popularly known as EGB. Sri Lankan ginger is celebrated for its zesty and hot flavour with a sweet and warm Hint, and its unique ability to improve the flavour of any culinary dish, a trait also held by EGB.
Ginger used in the production of EGB is sourced exclusively from local farmers. Under a project launched in 2003, together with Ginger Farmers Association, Kandurata Regional Development Bank, the Agricultural Department and the Central Bank of Sri Lanka, CCS initially identified 225 ginger farmers in Hataraliyadda, a district in Kandy, to provide Elephant House with ginger, in an effort to support the development of ginger farming industry in Sri Lanka. We provided the ginger farmers with the resources and the know-how to cultivate and harvest ginger as per the food and beverage standards required to manufacture EGB, with the assurance that we would purchase their ginger harvest at a pre-agreed fixed price, thereby ensuring a stable income independent of the highly fluctuating ginger market prices and demand. This initiative has not only supported the livelihood of the ginger farmers in Hatharaliyadda but has also empowered the livelihood of a farming community of over 1,200 people.
In the recent past, we observed crop failures due to deterioration of soil conditions mainly caused by continued cultivation of the same land. Together with the Agricultural Department of Sri Lanka, CCS helped the ginger farmers by providing the knowledge to improve the soil conditions of their land in order to reap a continuous and sustainable ginger harvest. A collective alternative solution for sustainable cultivation of ginger was also developed and CCS provided the knowledge and resources to grow ginger in compost filled poly-sack bags. This new method was quickly adopted by differently-abled farmers, especially in the Galle District. In 2017, over 30 differently-abled farmers who are members of the “Sahanodha Foundation” in Galle started using this new method of ginger farming. Currently, 155 farmers who are members of the foundation cultivate ginger in bags within their home garden.
Our ginger project has grown roots beyond Hatharaliyadda to Poojapitiya, Marathugoda, Gampola, Haguranketha, Kurunegala, Gampaha, Kaluthara, Colombo, Galle and Hambantota providing benefits to over 600 farmers and their families and also making EGB a truly Sri Lankan product made from the real essence of our country.