- Account Manager - Melbourne, Australia
- Grower - Australia
- Director of Marketing & Communications - Summerland (BC), Canada
- Lead Auditor
- Quality Assurance Team EA Region - Antwerp - Quality Assurance Supervisor
- Medior Sales Engineer - Netherlands
- General Manager Australia
- Chief plant protection agronomist
- Сhief agronomist
- Head of Sales for Mexico and Latin America
Top 5 -yesterday
- US (OH): Great Lakes Growers doubles production capacity to 160,000 sq.ft.
- Greenhouse grown strawberries with chocolate flavored dip at Fresh Summit
- Dutch delegation visits vegetable farm in Rwanda
- Italy: Cefla Group adds dedicated Lighting division
- Turkey: Increase in greenhouse banana production in Antalya
Top 5 -last month
Top 5 -last week
- From sector initiative to a strong brand name for the seed industry
- "We believe in a co-creative approach within the greenhouse horticulture sector"
- Canadian Greenhouse Conference'18: here's the recap
- Iran turns to Turkey for assistance in greenhouse development
- Canadian Greenhouse Conference '18: here's the recap
Shan Halamba, Riococo, on cleaning the image of coir in horticulture:
"Our research-based approach set new quality standard in Coir Substrate"
In 2003, RioCoco started to research the possibilities of coir fiber raw material in horticulture. "In that time, a lot of impostors were entering the greenhouse industry and supplying the market with low quality coco peat products driven by the story that it was a natural alternative for rockwool", Shan said. "However, these products where made of low quality, inconsistent coco fiber from India and Sri Lanka that was the byproduct of other industries. This waste material was brought into the greenhouses without processing or cleaning and growers thought was ready to use, but actually, most of these material was not usable at all. In fact, it gave coco peat a very bad reputation as a soil-less growing medium."
In order to give coco peat a chance, Shan started RioCoco. "We wanted to do things totally different, with the aim of cleaning the image of coco peat", Shan stated. "By first investing in research and development, we searched for a way to improve the quality and advantages, which in the end resulted in a range of different coir mixes that all have their own properties and advantages. We developed custom fit mixes, precisely designed around the crop's needs."
According to Shan, the custom made mixes caught the attention of growers, while running trials in the USA. "Bryan Hart, New Zealand born hydroponics consultant, who used to base in the USA, introduced our products and convinced some growers to run trials in commercial greenhouses", Shan said. "We obtained a lot of knowledge out of this trial thanks to the feedback we got from the greenhouse growers. Thanks to this we were able to design the optimized mix that had all of the beneficial properties, like the right water holding capacity, propensity to evaporate and so on."
After the sampling, research and test stages, the growers became more and more convinced about RioCoco. "The cultivation specialists at Village Farms, one of the key suppliers of hydroponic grown tomatoes in North America, were very impressed about our coco. In the first year they used our slabs on 5 acres and second year more acres. Eventually, in 2007, they started to use RioCoco on their entire operation in Texas."
Aside from Village Farms, other growers such as Kagome - Japan, got wind of RioCoco causing a stir in the substrate market. "For us, this was a great sign of appreciation for all of the work we were doing all these years. We entered the market with consciousness, and listened to the growers"
In the end it seemed that it was not only the quality of the coir that did the trick. "We are aiming to be very involved in the growers' operations on a very personal level. We own our own factories and are aware of everything that happens in the production process to the product delivery and finally with the advisory service to their growing operation. So basically we control everything. On the other hand, we find most of the new customers through referrals from our existing customers. We still see ourselves as a company, which adopts world class innovative ecofriendly technologies that does business on a personal level. That is something that bears a lot of fruit for us as well."
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Other news in this sector:
- 10/16/2018 Cotton wool mats used to grow microgreens
- 10/09/2018 BVB Substrates joins forces with Kekkilä
- 10/08/2018 "Producing more with less water and nutrients"
- 10/04/2018 "Better distribution of water throughout the day"
- 10/03/2018 “Enriched substrates make plants more resistant”
- 10/03/2018 "Seaweed could be key to lower nutrient and water use in horticulture"
- 10/02/2018 Grodan opens its first production facility in Russia
- 09/27/2018 "Wood fiber blends offer increased sustainability"
- 09/26/2018 Coir supplier celebrates 3 decades in business at CGC
- 09/21/2018 "Many suppliers can bring you coco, only a few can bring you a product consistent and uniform"
- 09/19/2018 "Brown Grow Quality Products Continues to Reach Customers"
- 09/17/2018 Australia: Coir waste management for hydroponics in berries
- 09/12/2018 UK: Summer’s drought spurs on efforts to reduce peat use
- 08/30/2018 Oboya receives several orders on substrates in China
- 08/15/2018 New Kenyan coco peat producer sources locally
- 08/07/2018 First RPP labelled growing media on the market
- 08/07/2018 Horticubes retail packs suitable for growers big and small
- 07/20/2018 Small amount of zinc essential for formation of growth substance of the plant
- 07/13/2018 Commercial growers get new wood fiber option
- 07/05/2018 Response of bell pepper to cultivation in coconut fiber or soil
We read the article appeared Hort daily site and are proud of you success about the place that the Rio coco has achieved around the globe. Let,s hope to deliver new quality products to the Green house hydroponics center in the world. Thanking you.
This was written by the Quality controller,senior production executive, supervisors and the others in the company.
shanthi Rajapaksha, kurunegala - 2013/03/26 15:24:22.000