Sakuni rice and flour creates history with ISO System Certification
Tuesday, 17 June 2014 00:00
History tells us that in our glorious past Sri Lanka was known internationally as the ‘Granary of the east’. That recognition came about due to the production of rice in abundance in our country. And now, rice and rice flour produced by Sakuni Limited have brought yet another international recognition – the ISO 9001:2008 International Certificate. Thus, Sakuni Ltd has created history by becoming the first entity from Sri Lanka to receive such international recognition for Sri Lanka produced rice and rice flour.
Siripala Amarasinghe – the recipient of this prestigious award and Managing Director of Sakuni Ltd of Polgahawela re-lived the history behind this glorious achievement: “I was born and raised in Dehiwatta village of Trincomalea where our family’s vocation was cultivation of our own lands. We were a successful farming family. Regrettably, with the horrific war bursting upon our lives in 1983, we were compelled to move over to relatively less volatile places in the country.
“Consequently, I came to live in Polgahawela, wherein I recommenced my cultivation activities and through much effort managed to rebuild my life. Herein, I was also blessed to meet my life-partner Champa Kumari who strengthens me with so much love and encouragement to accomplish my goals in life. Establishing of Sakuni (Pvt) Ltd was a result of our joint efforts.
“As time went by I was saddened to discover the existence of certain undesirable practices happening in the trade. This prompted me to strive to ensure that our customers receive quality certified rice and rice flour for their consumption as a matter of importance. Obtaining of this ISO International Certification is a fulfillment of that objective. Going further, this certificate will also pave the way to open up fresh frontiers in foreign markets for those who produce quality rice.”
During the course of these revelations Amarasinghe disclosed yet another hitherto little known but praiseworthy fact – although it has always been imported wheat flour that has been used as the base for manufacturing of biscuits, Sri Lanka’s pioneering and one of the largest Biscuit manufacturers ‘Maliban’ took a patriotic policy decision to tryout locally produced quality rice flour instead. Their tests with ‘Sakuni’ rice flour proved a success. Consequently, Maliban now uses only ‘Sakuni’ rice flour instead of those imported wheat flour, thereby saving billions of valuable foreign exchange for the country, as well as helping our farmers to gain a valuable market for their efforts.
Looking ahead Amarasinghe said, “We find that most local farm produced are now over-reliant on usage of chemicals, to the point of being even detrimental to the human body. This is a pathetic situation in this modern era which speaks so much of knowledge and health. Therefore, we are now focused on providing our life blood – the valued consumers – with chemical-free quality rice, which are produced solely through organic methods of cultivation. Yes, we are very keen to ensure that we do positively contribute towards the well-being of our fellow citizens and the motherland,” concluded Amarasinghe.