‘The Good Market’, Sri Lanka’s first market featuring the best of all natural, healthy and environmentally and community friendly products, opened in Colombo recently, at the new Diyatha Uyana market stalls, Battaramulla. NextGEN representative,Trudy Juriansz, has been involved in setting it up. However, it is not just a market!
It is also a weekly festival of natural foods, local art and crafts, and live entertainment, and is a curated event that highlights Sri Lankan products and services that are good for our health, our communities, and our environment.
Farmers, producer groups, and social enterprises throughout Sri Lanka have developed good and innovative products but they often find it difficult to market these products domestically. At the same time, there are many educated consumers in Sri Lanka that don’t want to feed their families pesticides and preservatives and also want to buy locally” and support rural communities.
They are looking for healthy, natural foods and household products. Selyn Handlooms, Kurunegala, Sri Lanka’s only fair-trade certified handlooms company, is one of the key vendors at The Good Market. On Selyn’s association with this initiative, its founder Sandra Wanduragala noted: “For many generations, we Sri Lankans are known to have been living within an organic and natural lifestyle, however sadly, our society has shifted away from this due to various influences and conveniences. The Good Market is a great initiative to not only give consumers the choice to buy organic and socially conscious produce/products but to also provide advocacy for a healthy and sustainable lifestyle.”
Meanwhile, Saaraketha, an agricultural enterprise that empowers rural small holder farmers to embrace sustainable methods of production, is another key vendor at the Good Market. Prasanna Hettiarachchi, founder/chairman of Saaraketha, had this to say about the market: “The Good Market bears testimony to a society that is evolving to embrace a greater awareness of the ‘circle of life’, a greater sense of inclusivity and understanding, on the choices we make and the impacts they have.”
The market is a place for ethical producers and ethical consumers to come together – a place to meet friends, enjoy a meal, and find a range of healthy, environmentally friendly products that are not readily available anywhere else in Sri Lanka. The Good Market is entirely a volunteer-driven event, in partnership with the market vendors.