Looking out of the plane as you land at Bandaranaike International Airport north of Colombo, the capital of Sri Lanka, you see coconut palm plantations everywhere.

Hardy surprising, as you’re on the southern fringe of what’s known as the ‘coconut triangle’ on the west coast of this large tropical island set in the Indian Ocean.

Sri Lanka is the fourth largest producer of coconuts in the world, and also hosts the oldest research station devoted to coconut R&D, established in 1928 in the colonial British period of the island’s history.

The headquarters of Medicoir, the company’s processing plant and drying facilities, are all close to the Coconut Research Station in the centre of the coconut triangle.

Seeing first-hand how a by-product of the coconut husk industry, itself a by-product of the edible part of the coconut, is turned into a first-rate growing medium for professional cannabis growers is a fascinating experience.

It’s easy to dismiss Sri Lanka as still a developing country when experiencing the chaotic and crazy driving styles on all roads – except the few toll motorways – and also seeing the unplanned development in many areas. However, it’s an economy in transition with a burgeoning tourist industry and a stable government.

People are at the heart of any successful company and establishing a professional culture at all levels is vital. All Medicoir employees, including the factory floor production team, are given regular training sessions with outside trainers who have also been trained by international companies such as Toyota.

In the factory, where everyone seems to work at a cracking pace, job designations are identifiable via coloured tee shirts which bear the company logo. Health and safety is rigidly adhered to and, as this is a very dusty environment, everyone wears high quality face masks and there are shower facilities on site for use at the end of a shift.

Good staff rest rooms and eating facilities are available, and there’s a water purification unit on site to save on the need for plastic bottled water provision.

There may be a somewhat laid-back attitude in general in Sri Lanka but, by contrast, Medicoir stands out as being a professional operation on all levels. They implement a drive for excellence using quality control measures at all stages of the process of turning cocopeat into Open Top Containers, naked blocks and other products for cannabis growers. Indeed, many companies could learn a lot from the way Medicoir operates.

Professional growers require a reliable, consistent product which delivers a perfect root environment for their cannabis crops to thrive. The aim of Medicoir is to produce the number one premium product and ship it from Sri Lanka to their valued customers all over the world.

At the company headquarters, which are also the production facility, quality control is in place at every stage, from testing the coir for EC and nutrient content in the laboratory, to hand checking every plastic sleeve.

All through the processing of the cocopeat, which requires a separate processing plant site on an industrial scale, there is attention to detail to soak, wash and buffer the product before it goes into the drying phase on large concrete drying floors. Strict measures are taken to avoid any local environmental pollution and the cleaned-up water irrigates and fertilises the surrounding coconut plantations. This operation has been so successful, that where applied, coconut yields have doubled.

Customers can be assured that Medicoir works tirelessly to avoid any negative environmental impact in Sri Lanka. Investment in a top-quality water treatment plant to deal with all effluent from the processing plant is just one example of caring for the local environment. This is a company which stays true to its ideals and is growing at a sustainable pace.