Merrill Fernando, the founder of Dilmah Tea was recently selected as a 2015 Oslo Business for Peace Honoree. This award is part of the Committee of Nobel Laureates in Peace and Economics. The award recognizes those who promote socially responsible and ethical business practices. In 2014, Richard Branson was an honoree. Fernando is the first ever Sri Lankan honoree.
Fernando was born in Sri Lanka in 1930. He was one of an initial group of Sri Lankans to travel to London to learn tea tasting. In 1988, he founded Dilmah Tea, which was the first tea to be grown, picked and packed in Sri Lanka.