Merrill J. Fernando

Founder, Dilmah Tea
2015 Business for Peace Honouree

An entrepreneur who overcame impossible odds to build a global ethical tea business

Merrill J. Fernando was born in 1930 in rural Ceylon (now Sri Lanka). He pursued his passion for tea and ethical business, becoming one of the first Ceylonese to master the art of tea tasting and establish his own tea business. He overcome impossible odds in founding Dilmah Tea in 1988, the first genuinely ethical, producer owned tea brand in the world.

Now joined by his sons Dilhan and Malik, after whom he named his brand, Dilmah is a global, specialty tea brand formed around the unique philosophy that business is a matter of human service, a pledge that is fulfilled in the work of his MJF Charitable Foundation and Dilmah Conservation.