Complementing today’s preferred food and lifestyle choices, Silk Cooperation, a fast-growing frontrunner in the country’s organic and sustainable agriculture, food and beverage and nutraceuticals segment, recently declared open a state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Naula, Matale to produce a healthy range of vegan and plant-based products.
These products are marketed and sold under the brand ‘plant based’ and presently available for purchase at Glomark supermarkets island wide and online via www.plantbased.lk with plans already underway to further enhance distribution reach including an ambitious wholesale and export driven strategy. This will further strengthen its position in international markets and bring in the much-required forex primarily through the offering of value-added exports.
‘With almost a decade of experience in the food and agriculture export sector, we are now gearing up to move into new horizons. Our new facility was established with the view of producing innovative vegan products which are healthy for consumers and sustainable for the planet while creating a positive impact on the livelihood of our local farmers and rural communities,’ said Sahan Clive Bakmiwewa, CEO of Silk Cooperation.
The new facility and farms use the latest technology in reducing carbon footprint through water saving mechanisms such as drip irrigation for plantation and adheres to some of the best practices in environmental conservation. Several greenhouses within the farm have also heightened its efficacy by equipping modern vertical agricultural irrigation systems such as ‘Nutrient Film Technique’ (NFT), a first of its kind in the Matale region.
Raw materials are sourced from local farmers embracing fairtrade policies in addition to cultivating its own crops using organic agricultural principles, to ensure the produce is GMO-free and all natural. The farmer communities are also provided with training and scientific know-how, with the aim of encouraging and pursuing a culture of collaboration with other participants in the entire value chain.
One of its products that’s making waves is the plant-based vegan patty, made with young jackfruit and oyster mushrooms as the main raw ingredients, combined with spices and coated with breadcrumbs and fried, serving one as a perfect pre-cooked meat substitute burger patty.
The new facility is also able to manufacture powdered oat and rice milk, facilitating the much-needed substitution for powdered dairy milk for the local and international market, becoming the only facility in Sri Lanka to presently manufacture powdered oat and rice milk.
The operations of the facility and farm will be under the care of Silk Foods Ceylon Ltd., a subsidiary of E-Silk Route Ventures Ltd trading as Silk Cooperation. There are plans to implement ‘Farm Stays’ for tourists who will be able to have a first-hand experience in vegan farming and enjoy raw vegan cuisine within the factory and farm premises.
Silk Cooperation is one of the most sought-after players in the spices, herbs, tea, coconut, superfood, and nutraceutical sectors with presence in Australia, Singapore, Slovenia, Vietnam and Indonesia. Its certifications include USDA Organic, EU Organic and FSSC 22000. It provides sourcing, manufacturing including OBM, packaging and labeling to shipping, logistics including last-mile delivery, spanning across 140 cities in over 15 countries, and exporting to over 40 countries. Silk Cooperation was awarded with the Gold award in the Spices and Spice-based Products sector at the 29th NCE Annual Export Awards held earlier this year, and two Gold awards in last year’s edition including for organic products sector.