Brand Ambassador – Aquafresh Natural Drinking Water
By: Chantal D. Photography by: Nuwan Ranaweera
Since a long time ago, human has acknowledged the health benefits of foods. However, with the development of chemical drugs and pills, they have forgotten that foods they eat are directly linked to their health. Foods, in fact are the best medicines and therefore we should take into account carefully how we perceive and use them. Integrative medicine is one of the most practised ideas of wellness today.
Before we dive in, let’s start with the basics – what exactly IS Integrative medicine?
Integrative Nutrition Medicine is a system through the power of nutrition, primary food, active listening, high-mileage questions, goal setting, and other techniques unique to health coaching. While the average visit to the doctor only lasts eight minutes, the average health coaching session could be of about 50 minutes – an in-depth conversation between the health doctor and their clients.
An integrative medical doctor is a supportive mentor and wellness authority who helps others feel their best through individualized food and lifestyle changes that meet their unique needs and health goals. Often, they provide their services in private coaching practices with one-on-one sessions.
Integrative medicine isn’t about one diet or one way of living. Instead, focuses on bio-individuality – the idea that we are all different and have unique dietary, lifestyle, emotional, and physical needs. This means that integrative medicine does not believe in one-size-fits-all approach to health and wellness. Instead, integrative medical doctors work with clients to help them discover how to fuel their bodies and become healthiest, happiest version of themselves.
Dr. Natalie Cook is a medical doctor who currently practices and promotes integrative medicine through nutritive practice. She holds a Degree in Medicine and Surgery. She has previously worked at the Sri Lanka army hospital and Maharagama cancer hospital and completed her MBBS and Double Master’s Degree in Medical Administration. She also studied and specialized in drugless therapies.
BiZnomics had the pleasure of speaking to Dr. Natalie Cook in her journey as the doctor who introduced integrative medicine to Sri Lanka.
You are a professionally qualified doctor. What made you decide to move to integrative medicine?
I have always looked at the body as a whole. I don’t believe in compartmentalizing it into systems or organs and treating it separately. There is a truth to ancient medicine and I wanted to bring it back to the present. We have got so used to a quick fix that chemicals have become our go to for everything. I want to remind people that they shouldn’t be polluting the human body to such an extent.
Where did you receive your training?
My MBBS is from Tianjin Medical University. My specialization in Nutritive Medicine is associated with Mayo Clinic USA. I received all my certifications from CAM Sri Lanka.
Nature’s Beauty Creations Ltd is a fully Sri Lankan owned company and the most awarded cosmetics manufacturer in Sri Lanka. Its brands include Nature’s Secrets, Panda Baby, Chandi Panda, Champion, Misumi, elithé and several others.
The company’s advanced manufacturing complex exceeds European recognized GMP quality requirements and is accredited with international ISO standards. It is also the only cosmetics company to be awarded Sri Lanka’s highest environmental award, The National Green Award – Gold, and Sri Lanka’s highest employee wellbeing award, the Sri Lanka Corporate Health & Productivity Awards – Gold (large category). Around its manufacturing complex, the company also grows and maintains Sri Lanka’s largest privately owned collection of medicinal plants (over 800 varieties) for conservation and research.
Since its inception, the company has been fiercely passionate about quality, environmental conservation, consumer and employee wellbeing, and community empowerment, embarking on a sustainable journey to create responsible beauty that is natural, safe and ethical, both within its shores and beyond. Today we are proud to have grown into one of Sri Lanka’s leading cosmetics exporters.
Pure, natural, and hygienic drinking water bottled under the brand name Aquafresh by Access Natural Water (Pvt) Ltd. which extracts its supplies from deep ground water sources in a rain forest in the Labugamkanda mountains, like all modern health trends is gaining rapid popularity among people seeking a healthier addition to their lifestyles. The unique water with no added chemicals whatsoever contains all natural mineral balances and the bottling company relatively enjoys various standards from accredited authorities which have guided the company to uplift its quality of work.
BiZnomics met Access Natural Water (Pvt) Ltd. Managing Director Christopher Joshua who started. “We launched our company in the year 2000 at a time marketing bottled water in Sri Lanka was unthinkable as it was freely available, and in addition there were a few bottled water manufacturers in operation as well”. The Access Group identifying the need for pure, good quality drinking water, in its quest found an aquifer – a layer of soil which retains water – the perfect source in fine deep springs in Labugamkanda in a geologically unique rain forest. The natural springs 200 feet below surface are protected by impermeable upper and lower confining layers, making the aquifer water pure as nature intended it to be.
Continued Managing Director Christopher Joshua, “We put up an environmental friendly factory and bottling plant in the location of the springs from where pure water is extracted, avoiding contamination through surface contact”. Yet in keeping with manufactory requirements to purify bottled water through a certified process before marketing, the company invested in a biological purification process adopting the four steps: aeration, slow sand filtering, micron filtering, and UV treatment which preserves the natural mineral balance at the aquifer.
The company was meticulous in selection of its stainless-steel machinery to ensure that rust and corrosion do not rise. The machines which are oil and grease free have been manufactured at optimum level on schedules in conformity to the company’s certifications and standards: SLS 894, ISO 9001, ITQI Brussels that specify requirements to consistently provided products and services that meet customer and regulatory requirements. The ISO 22000 certification and the Dutch HACCP encourage the organization to identify hazards which might occur in the food products process and to take stringent action to prevent same. Meanwhile the American FDA allows the company to sell water in the European market.
Following the success of the 5 gallon polycarbonate dispenser bottle introduced to the market in 2001 the iconic range of PET bottles came on four years later. The 200 ml bottles in contrast to the 5 gallons are not re-filled. Washing of bottles before re-filling is a fully automated process with the adoption of high pressure nozzles, disinfectants, hot water, chlorine water and lastly drinking water. Managing Director Christopher Joshua says, “The unique design of the PET bottle, which is a first in
the country, revolutionized the bottle industry. Bottled water regulations require drinking water in transparent bottles. Tetrapack (paper) is not allowed although a few glass bottles are in use”. The bottling method for both PET and FG (five gallon) is fully automated and so is the labelling.
The client base of Aquafresh is over 5000 comprising both domestic consumers and corporates including the United Nations’ Organization office, Sri Lankan Airlines, Nestle, Kingsbury, Softlogic, and international chains such as Subway, Burger King, Coffee Bean, Gloria Jean’s Coffees and Bread Talk all which have opted for the superior quality, smooth and refreshing taste, exclusive packaging and the exceptional service that enhances its value – attributes that have garnered Aquafresh Sri Lanka to be the undisputed leader in the local bottled water industry.
The company engages in advertising campaigns on cable TV, radio, newspapers and magazines. In addition, based on a consumer educative concept, its Lorries travel across the island, are branded. Monthly promotions on selected locations in the Western Province and social media campaigns of Facebook and Instagram are also carried out. This propaganda consistently communicates the quality standards, certification and accolades of Aquafresh water.
In a move to repay nature for her bounty of pure water, the staff of Access Natural Water (Pvt) Ltd has planted trees around the area, established herb gardens which are diligently maintained and cared for, in accordance with environmental laws and regulations. But their gratitude to nature goes far beyond that. Since the area of its bottling plant is of great importance in maintaining the forest surrounding, the company deeply cares for its environment and strives to do what is best for it always.
Aquafresh is the only Sri Lankan brand of alkaline drinking water in the market. Alkaline water in known to contain many health benefits with the key element being that it works against acidifies in the body, contributing towards prevention of illness and disease. Director/Chief Operating Officer Shanil Perera states: “The uniqueness of Aquafresh is many. We have invested in the mechanisms required to provide the nature’s gift of pure water to our customers. We live by our slogan and intention; ‘bringing nature to life’. The natural vital minerals in Aquafresh, iron, calcium carbonate, magnesium carbonate, sodium, potassium, sulphates, and silicon bring health benefits and goodness in every sip.
Seeking business ventures in uncertain times requires exertion of new super human strength of the organization’s director. Aquafresh of the Access Group of the companies has led a new course of sustainability while navigating changes in the now fast moving bottled water industry.
Demand is growing as a result with rising consumer confidence. Consumers see brands as a social status symbol; they want aspirational brands which create a window of opportunity for Aquafresh. All these factors make the market extremely attractive for the immediate future for Access Natural Water (Pvt) Ltd.