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Saaraketha

Saaraketha is a catalyst that empowers rural small holder farmers to embrace sustainable methods of production. Our faith in sustainable growth; that man and nature can co-exist in harmony, fuels our passion to empower the local farming communities by transferring knowledge, entrepreneurship and facilitating access to technology to bring about dignity to the vocation of farming.


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Why your food may be naturally confusing you.

At an exhibition featuring local and regional food manufacturers we did our rounds to discover a confusing medley of vendors, producers and distributors touting everything from Organic, to Natural to Sustainably Produced.

Some confused organic with natural in which case they would nod enthusiastically when asked "Is it organic?" What stumped them was of course the question "Is it Certified Organic?" Very few vendors touted the certification necessary to make that statement.

Returning home with an armful of brochures, flyers and product samples we recognised the one thing we didn't find at the exhibition. Clarity about what Organic really means to the consumer. So in the weeks that followed we began investigating. And guess what we found.

Naturally Confused ?

Sri Lanka is swimming in a vast sea of products labeled "natural" which are actually natural raw ingredients that are synthetically processed after its grown. So the question you need to ask as a consumer should be "How much added sugar, added fat, added preservatives are going into this naturally produced original product?"

What is the difference really? And how do you know what's organic - what's natural - and what's bio? Here's a small guide we think you might find useful to figure it out.

What does it all mean ? 

Certified Organic A determination made by a certifying body that a production or processing operation meets minimum organic standards. A certificate is issued documenting the compliance and permitting the operation to use the certifier’s logo and certification number on the product. Products certified by key certification bodies such as the USDA(United States) Control Union Certification(European Union) and JAS (Japan)

Read more on organic certification here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Organic_certification

Organic Grown or produced without the use of synthetic pesticides, fertilizers, sewage sludge, irradiation or genetically modified organisms. Organic production promotes the use of sustainable systems, respecting ecological balance.

Natural The term “natural” is not well understood with respect to food products. Sri Lankan labelling regulations state:

No label shall, in the description of any food product, bear the work natural thereon unless,
a. Such food or food product consists of unmixed, unadulterated or unprocessed product with no additives. It may however be subjected to pasteurization,
chilling or freezing;
b. Such food or product is produced from biological material as distinct from synthetic material

Source: http://203.94.76.60/FOODWEB/files/regulations/current/food_(labelling_and_advertising)_regulations_2005.pdf

But the term natural is so often used in conjunction with health food marketing, it has few regulatory controls to its use on products. Natural does not indicate that a product is organic, or that it is necessarily healthy. You're bound to find the word Natural or Naturally on jams, sauces and highly processed products which have additives, pesticides, sugar and more salt than your daily intake. 

On the other hand "Organic" is also a confusing label but a general rule should be to always stick with "Certified Organic" and if you trust your vendor or seller who sells "100% Organic" then you are in good hands. 

Take nothing at face value though and remember to be a conscious consumer who asks questions.



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Why your food may be naturally confusing you.
At an exhibition featuring local and regional food manufacturers we did our rounds to discover a confusing medley of vendors, producers and distributors touting everything from Organic, to Natural to Sustainably Produced. Some confused organic with natural in whi... 15-03-2014
 
Here's a Be(et) you cannot miss this year!
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The Spicy Sweet Smell of Ceylon Cinnamon is back!
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Saaraketha makes new friends at the Good Market!!
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Slo-Lanka Slow Food Taste Workshop at the Good Market
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Speech by Prasanna Hettiarachchi President of Slow Food Colombo at the International Congress of Slow Food in Turin, Italy on the 28th of October 2012
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The first ever Good Market... A success!
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Prasanna Hettiarachchi of Saaraketha endorses The Good Market
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Saaraketha to showcase products at The Good Market
The Good Market is an event that promote sustainable production and consumption, a gathering of farmers, producer groups and social enterprises from all corners of Sri Lanka, showcasing their products that are good for our health, our communities, and our environment. The first Good Market is... 29-11-2012
 
President of Slow Food Sri Lanka address the 6th International Congress at the Salone del Gusto / Terra Madre
6th Slow Food International Congress held during the Salone del Gusto / Terra Madre 2012, was an event that allowed Congress Leaders (Leaders of Slow Food Conviviums) to address the audience who represented the whole Slow Food International network, and allowed them to share ideas and thoughts wh... 22-11-2012
 
Saaraketha Heirloom Rice, Spices and Millets @ the Bio Diversity Area - Salone del Gusto / Terra Madre 2012
                            Click here for images of the Bio Diversity Area - Salone del Gusto / Terra Madre 2012, Turin, Italy. ... 28-11-2012
 
Saaraketha @ Salone del Gusto / Terra Madre 2012 (Turin, Italy)
Salone del Gusto / Terra Madre was held from the 25th - 29th in Turin, Italy with the participation of producers, chefs, food artisans and presenters. Saaraketha together with Slow Food Sri Lanka were the joint coordinators of the Sri Lankan delegation which consisted of hoteliers, ... 12-11-2012
 
Case Study on Saaraketha by the University of Queensland, Australia
A research team representing the University of Queensland is currently in Sri Lanka, conducting a case study on the journey of Saaraketha; challenges faced, possible solutions and lessons learned. This team consists of individuals with highly dynamic personalities with a passion for studying busi... 27-09-2012
 
Saaraketha presents 'Saraii Village'...
Saraii Village is the new tourism venutre and a subsidiary Saaraketha.                 Saraii Village is a unique and quaint little hide out in the South of Sri Lanka. “Saraii” meaning “The Ess... 05-09-2012
 
Organic Veggie Poya Buffet
... 12-08-2012
 
Artichoke Festival
... 02-08-2012
 
Saaraketha Home Delivery Service...
Saaraketha aims to start a home delivery service in the near future to provide good, clean, fresh and sustainably produced goods to YOU, the quality conscious consumer, straight from the farm to your doorstep. This range is called the Harvest and it focuses on supporting rural farmers to embr... 30-04-2012
 
Saaraketha at Fruit Logistica 2012
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Global Knowledge Partnerships
If we value the pursuit of knowledge, we must be free to follow wherever that search may lead us. The free mind is not a barking dog, to be tethered on a ten-foot chain. -Adlai E. Stevenson Jr. (1900 - 1965), Speech at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, October 8, 1952   S... 20-12-2011
 
Saaraketha as the Official Food Designer at Sri Lanka Design Festival 2011
“On every serving, on every dish, are a farmer's hopes for his children.” - Ramya Chamalie Jirasinghe, Poet. Saaraketha was the Official Food Designer for the Sri Lanka’s biggest fashion event of the year, Sri Lanka Design Festival (SLDF); which was held from the 16th &n... 27-11-2011
 
Digitization of the rural landscape of "80 Yaya" (the block 80) - Video
... 20-06-2011
 
Transforming Rural Lives and Landscapes - Video
... 20-06-2011
 
Bridging the Rural Divide through Empowerment
“We cannot always build the future for our youth, but we can build our youth for the future.”  Franklin D. Roosevelt With the unstinted support of the Fulbright Commission, British Council and the American Center, Saaraketha has been able to work with school teachers and yout... 25-07-2010
 
Wholesome Meals Using Organic Produce for Saaraketha Employees
The employees of Saaraketha are the first to benefit from the wholesome, natural organic produce of the Saaraketha plantation. Vegetables, fruits, yams, greens and herbs are sourced from the farm daily by the cook who prepares meals for the plantation staff at the demonstration kitchen and pavili... 20-04-2010
 
Three Pronged Mapping Exercise: Spatial, Social and Agro-biodiversity Survey Carried Out
At Saaraketha we aim to couple the benefits of modern technology with the wisdom of traditional agriculture to bring about maximum productivity from land and resources. Currently the main focus at the farm is on a mapping survey using Geographic Information System (GIS) techonology where spatial,... 16-04-2010
 
"Passage to India" - Slow Foods September 2009
Once again the Slow Foods Colombo hosted a gala event themed the "Passage to India" on the 25th of September at Tropical Hut, Paradise Beach, Mount Lavinia. The Indian menu was prepared by Chef Ranga of the Mount Lavinia Hotel; a very young but excellent chef that offered all guests... 06-10-2009
 
Slow Food Colombo Presents the "Cuban Style Family Dinner"
The Sri Lankan Slow Food movement was started in June of 2009 with Chef Leo, Ramya Jeerasinghe, Prasanna Hettiarachchi and Charitha Abeyratne of Saaraketha getting together to register the “Slow Food Colombo” convivium. Since the inception Slow Food Colombo along with the Mount La... 02-09-2009
 
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