We like to keep it simple by saying Saaraketha strives to make it easy and convenient for families and businesses to choose healthy, organic food. We think this natually increases demand and creates opportunities for rural producers who are committed to ethical and environmentally sustainable practices. We believe that we have the power to change - to make individual choices - to take back control of our own lives, our health and our planet. Our mission is to offer people the choice to improve their quality of life with products and solutions that will help them achieve a sustainable lifestyle. It is a back-to-basics philosophy that retains the essence of your home, your garden and your family.
Our farmers are from all parts of Sri Lanka. We have upcountry farmers low country farmers we have rice farmers, spice farmers, vegetable and fruit farmers.
also work with smallholder groups which are clusters of individual farmers through NGO's on the ground who manages these clusters.
This process with smallholder farmers is far more challenging because you are trying to consolidate product, trying to manage larger number of different individuals.
“Inspired by the apparel industry's transformation from "sweat shop" to an ethical destination Prasanna set out to replicate the same value chain potential in the agriculture sector.”
Founded as a start-up using the business model of Zara, where all production is out-sourced; Saaraketha Organics empowers over 2,000 rural small holder farmers in Sri Lanka to develop their livelihoods while embracing organic and sustainable methods of production.
As the first in Sri Lanka to achieve the global Organic certification for fresh produce, Saaraketha has invested a great deal in igniting the organic fresh produce movement in Sri Lanka, taking it from zero to 60 in a relatively short length of time.
With Prasanna at the helm, Saaraketha has grown into a strong brand that is known for its customer focused service, integrity of product and industry leadership, with a loyal customer base both locally and internationally, and a passionate vision to grow sustainable production and living across the island.
Prasanna's love of agriculture stemmed through inheriting a small plot of land from his late father and he started to planting as a tribute for him. Prasanna had no plan, but just to get shade cover; yet ended up creating a mini jungle rich in bio-diversersity. This labour of love and respect; a few years later, thoroughly researched and planned turned into a commercially viable business that's set on the principles of the triple bottom line.
Why You Should By From Us
Primarily, our products are certified by Control Union Certifications and that guarantees the integrity of the product. CUC is an international certification body. Certification is issued only after an audit by the CUC where they take soil, leaf, and product and water samples, inspect the processes, systems, guidelines and checklists in place.
All these samples are sent to an offshore laboratory for testing to see whether there are any residual traces, heavy metals and other chemicals. Certification is a process which can take up to 3 years depending on a particular property having used chemicals before weaning themselves out of it.
For certification to be issued CUC establishes that the soils and all the other components of the production system are rid of harmful artificial substances, including any residual materials. Even if a property has completely stopped using any kind of harmful substances, traces of residue continue to be in the soil and plant leaf matter up to a period of one and a half to two years. The certification body generally takes a 3 year period for conversion before they completely certify that a property is free of any harmful substances.
As a secondary measure we also employ the Good Market Participatory Guarantee System (PGS) certification. In a Participatory Guarantee System (PGS), producers and consumers volunteer their time to develop standards and systems, inspect farms, and ensure that products are organic. The goal is to keep costs down and make organic food more accessible and affordable.
PGS can also serve as a stepping-stone for small-scale farmers and make it easier for them to get export-level certification in the future. The Good Market Organic PGS standards are based on the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM) Norms for Organic Production and Processing.
As a third step in our commitment to encourage small holder farmers to embrace organic methods of cultivation we offer the Saaraketha internal standard of guarantee for organic cultivation and processing.
This is another inexpensive method to encourage those who are beginning their journey of transition to be certified organic producers; this is a process where internal Saaraketha compliance auditors inspect farms, implement guidelines to ensure the compliance standards required for certification are in place and prepare farmers and farms for subsequent third party certification.
The Saaraketha Organic standards are based on the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM) Norms for Organic Production and Processing.
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