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HNB hosts certification ceremony for food industry professionals

Jayantha Karunaratne, NCE President (Seated, fourth from left), Damith Pallewatte – HNB Deputy General Manager, Wholesale Banking Group (Seated, center) and Shiham Marikar, NCE CEO/Secretary General (Seated, fourth from right) along with the programme participants.

In a significant step towards bolstering food safety standards and strengthening the export sector, Sri Lanka’s leading private sector bank HNB PLC, recently hosted a certification ceremony for participants of the Preventive Controls Qualified Individual (PCQI) Training Course.

The certification ceremony hosted by HNB marks a significant stride towards not only meeting regulatory requirements but also elevating Sri Lanka's export reputation. This specialized training program, held in partnership with The National Chamber of Exporters of Sri Lanka (NCE), is designed to equip individuals with the expertise needed to implement preventive controls in the food industry. The certification is not only a regulatory requirement but also a testament to Sri Lanka's commitment to quality and safety in food exports.

The collaboration between HNB and NCE reflects their joint commitment to supporting the Sri Lankan economy, particularly the specific needs of businesses in the export sector. NCE, as the exclusive chamber promoting exporters in Sri Lanka, finds a natural ally in HNB, through  their offers a comprehensive suite of financial products and services tailored to exporters.

“As a bank that is firmly committed to fostering the growth of businesses in the export sector, we recognise that the industry goes beyond just generating foreign currency. They also play a pivotal role in nurturing the human development potential in the country as they are compelled to ensure Sri Lankan products are manufactured to globally accepted standards,” HNB Wholesale Banking Group Deputy General Manager Damith Pallewatte said, underlining the importance of certifications in adding value and enhancing quality.

Commenting on the essential role of quality certifications in global certifications NCE President Jayantha Karunaratne said: “Certifications are key to establish Sri Lanka as a formidable player in international markets and contribute towards our vision of becoming an export-oriented economy.”

Reiterating the significance of the partnership between HNB and NCE, CEO/Secretary General of the Chamber Shiham Marikar emphasized the importance of value addition over bulk exports, reflecting a growing trend in international trade.

The PCQI Training Course has gained prominence due to its relevance under the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), a pivotal piece of food safety legislation in the United States. This legislation mandates that certain personnel involved in food production, processing, and handling be PCQI certified to ensure the safety of food products intended for the U.S. market.

The certification is mandatory for companies exporting to the U.S. market in compliance with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). 

With 254 customer centres and 800+ Self Service Devices (SSDs) nationwide, HNB is one of Sri Lanka’s largest, most technologically innovative private banks. Consolidating its legacy in sustainability, good governance and corporate excellence, HNB was crowned the Best Corporate Citizen for 2022 at the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce Best Corporate Citizen Awards. The bank further secured four additional accolades, including being ranked among the Top 10 Best Corporate Citizens and taking home the Governance category and Sustainability Champion for the Finance sector titles.

Additionally, HNB was ranked among the World’s Top 1,000 Banks list compiled by the prestigious UK-based Banker Magazine for the sixth consecutive year in 2022, in addition to being crowned the Best Retail Bank in Sri Lanka for the 13th occasion at the prestigious International Excellence in Retail Financial Services Awards 2023 hosted by the Asian Banker Magazine.