At a time when it was almost unimaginable to set up a soilless-growing media manufacturing operation, Shan Halamba was convinced of Sri Lanka's potential to produce high-quality, uniform, and consistent coconut-growing media. He found coconut-based growing media manufacturer Riococo Lanka Limited in 2004, which was a speedy success within a short period of time. Over the years, their activities were expanded to more than 65 countries.
This week, the company was honored with the National Chamber of Exporters (NCE) Challenge Trophy as the best ethical trading exporter in the extra-large category at the Annual Export Awards-2023 organized by NCE of Sri Lanka.
Eight principles of ethical trading
The award ceremony was held for the 31st time on December 8, 2023, at Shangri-La Hotel in Colombo. A company can achieve this award only once a year by the NCE in recognition of their contribution to the environment, social responsibility, and economy, and in line with eight principles reflected in the Certificate of Ethical Trading issued by the NCE.
"It took us 20 years to get here", said Shan Halamba, who was particularly honored that his work to be a good employer was recognized, especially since Sri Lanka has been through hard times. "We value our people the most and know they are the backbone of our company. We did not cut back wages or hours when the country struggled."
Riococo also received a Bronze Award in the Extra-Large Category, representing the Coconut and Coconut Products Sector at the same award ceremony. "Being recognized at the NCE Export Awards will offer a range of benefits to Riococo in our future affairs targeting both local and international markets," Shan added.
"This achievement affirmed that we are the top brand not only in the world but also in Sri Lanka. We express our heartfelt gratitude to all those who have strengthened us in our journey and lifted us up in all sectors. We have previously received many awards and other forms of recognition in the United States, South Asian countries, and the business sector of Sri Lanka. Our company is recognized as one of the foremost soilless coir growing media manufacturers in the region and also as one of the highest quality single origin coir growing medium suppliers in the world. With all these achievements in mind, we will take steps towards to a victorious journey with social and economic equality at the forefront."