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DPL Sri Lanka wins Best Innovative Model for CSR at JASTECA CSR Awards 2013
05 Feb 2014

Firstlight, the Corporate Social Responsibility project of Dipped Products PLC (DPL) has won the Best Innovative Model for CSR at the JASTECA (Japan Sri Lanka Technical and Cultural Association) Awards recently. The Firstlight initiative reflects DPL’s commitment towards business sustainability in which economic, environmental and social factors are integrated in order to empower smallholder rubber farmers to achieve their maximum capability as well as empowering farmer communities through capacity building activities. Through FirstLight, DPL’s mission is to introduce and promote ethically produced gloves to the world market.

The aim of this initiative is to provide a better quality life to disadvantaged farmers from the remote villages of Sri Lanka who account for 65% of Sri Lanka’s national rubber crop. With the initiation of this project in the year 2007, Firstlight has been able to expand its rubber sourcing farmer base from 20 to nearly 500 farmers based in Monaragala by 2013.

The initiative also intends to maintain fair-trade in the latex rubber industry by empowering the small holder farmers to be self-dependent. Furthermore, by partnering with an ethical business initiative in natural rubber production, the farmers are able to sustain their families on a long term basis.

The CSR program does not limit itself to community development, but also ensures the environment too is protected such as by teaching the farmers on the appropriate use of fertiliser. Due to the impact made by the program to society, it attracts more farmers, thereby encouraging the growth of the business.

Audited by Tradecraft UK, based on the Fair Trade Principles laid out by the European Fair Trade Association and Fair trade Labour Organisation Certification (FLO-CERT), this initiative was previously the winner of the ‘Investment in People’ Category at the Asia Responsible Entrepreneurship Awards (AREA) 2012 for South Asia.
The AREA program recognises and honours Asian businesses for championing sustainable and responsible entrepreneurship in the following categories: Green Leadership, Investment in People, Corporate Governance, Health Promotion, Social Empowerment, SME CSR and Responsible Business Leadership.

Established in 1976, Dipped Products is one of the leading non-medical rubber glove manufacturers in the world, accounting for 5 per cent share of the global non-medical glove market. DPL’s products now reach about 70 countries worldwide. Furthermore, DPL is also recognised as an ethical glove manufacturer across the world.