Dutch-Sri Lankan business partners win The Embassy Award
Friday, 17 January 2014 00:00
On 15 January, The Dutch Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation, Lilianne Ploumen, presented the prestigious Embassy Award to the Dutch-Sri Lankan company ‘Van der Knaap-Growrite substrates’ at a large network reception in Ede, the Netherlands.
Each year in January, the Dutch Ambassadors from around the world present an award to an outstanding Dutch company in a foreign country. This year the Netherlands Embassy in Sri Lanka nominated Growrite Substrates, the Sri Lankan subsidiary of the Van der Knaap Group, for this Embassy Award. Of the 54 applications that were received, the company Van der Knaap-Growrite substrates was among the final three short-listed candidates. The other two nominated Dutch companies are active in Canada and Kenya.
Van der Knaap started buying coco peat bulk material in Sri Lanka in 1995 and established a company in 1997. A production facility which is fully equipped for the production of high quality coco peat products was built. Under the name Growrite Substrates Ltd. this plant produces coco products such as coco slabs, discs, propagation cubes and home packs. Instead of supplying raw materials, ready to use products are sold and shipped directly to the clients. The products produced by Growrite Sri Lanka are made from coco peat, which is organic and recyclable material which is environmentally friendly.
In Sri Lanka, Growrite runs a very successful business operation and the company provides direct employment to 800 persons and indirectly to approximately 3,200. The cooperation in Sri Lanka resulted in the establishment of production facilities in Thailand, Dominican Republic and India. Growrite was predominantly awarded with the Embassy Award because of the longstanding relationship between the Dutch and Sri Lankan company and the numerous CSR (corporate social responsibility) initiatives of Growrite Substrates. Most of these projects are geared towards children, health care, emancipation of women, education and housing. Lilianne Ploumen is a staunch advocate of corporate social responsibility.