From Small Scale Farms to the Largest Food Expo in Asia — Siam Organic at THAIFEX

July 13th, 2017 Posted by Blog No Comment yet

By: Brianna – Siam Organic Intern

Wednesday morning traffic sprawls out on the road in front of us as our car marches forward. Around us, trucks dressed in food advertisements also crawl closer to the massive THAIFEX signs overhead. The seven of us patiently wait for the traffic officer to direct us in the direction to park. After nearly two hours commuting, we arrive at the back entrance of THAIFEX. I feel a twinge of excitement as we begin unloading the remaining display boxes.

Inside the convention center, enormous company displays stretch upwards revealing products from all areas of the food industry. Across nine massive exhibition halls, 45,000 exhibitors display their newest and most innovative products. Siam Organic does the same. As an intern new to Thailand, my job, in conjunction with the other intern, Juliette, was to conduct market research and better understand the Thai rice industry. We did this with the goal of formulating an innovative new product idea for Jasberry to develop over the coming year.

Nestled in the organic section of Impact Hall 1, our purple emblazoned booth stood out against the backdrop of similarly designed brands. A matte velvet palette and wooden hues aren’t the only thing that distinguished Siam Organic, however. After poring over countless stalls marketing organic products with Juliette, we both came to the conclusion that, “Yup! There is a lot of rice!” Besides this glaringly obvious conclusion, we also concluded that though other organic rice and rice pasta brands advertised the indisputable health benefits of organic rice products, their products did not come close to the benefits provided by Jasberry rice and Jasberry Superfood Pasta. With 10 times the antioxidant power of green tea per serving and the daily recommended dose of antioxidants in just one serving, Jasberry objectively outperformed any other strain of rice (subjectively, we also thought it tasted the best!). In addition, we found that our line of Jasberry Superfood Pasta, with four different shapes and nine different superfoods, had more variety than any other brand of gluten-free, vegan, or organic rice pasta on the market.

How differentiated Jasberry is in the industry did not surprise Juliette or me. I admit that one of the reasons I believed Jasberry was so different before conducting research at THAIFEX was because I had never heard about rice pasta before reading into Jasberry, and was ignorant about the size of the rice industry before arriving in Thailand. Despite this initial lack of awareness, the time I spent at THAIFEX allowed me to expand my personal knowledge of the Thai rice industry and better appreciate the social mission behind Jasberry.

With market prices of organic rice in Thailand far below those in the US market and an abundance of aging Thai farmers, the need for Siam Organic’s mission became more and more apparent the more I learned. As a social enterprise that works with small scale farmers to eradicate poverty, Siam Organic truly helps to transform the lives of over 1,100 farmers. With this in mind, the second part of our mission at THAIFEX as interns increased in importance.

By continually inventing new products based around Jasberry rice, Siam Organic ensures an increase in demand for the rice our farmers grow. This consistent increase in demand means a steady need for more organic farmers to plant Jasberry, thus allowing Siam Organic to grow its network and help more farmers each season. Siam Organic guarantees farmers a fair and consistent price for all of the Jasberry they grow, and also educates farmers on different practices to increase yield. Through these efforts, Siam Organic reduces the immense financial stress facing rice farmers in Thailand.

Because Juliette and I are both international interns, she from the Netherlands and I from the USA, our perspective on the industry and potential innovations are from an outside standpoint. This has been particularly helpful in the innovation process because the new product is one that Jasberry hopes to export! It is very exciting for us both to finally be able to purchase Jasberry goods first within the European Union and then in the United States. Even more exciting though, is the increase in Jasberry needed to sustain an international market. With Jasberry products being sold in the USA, as well as the Netherlands and other locations within the EU, there will be an increase in demand for Jasberry rice, and consequently a need for more organic rice farmers to grow Jasberry rice. This will allow Siam Organic to expand its social impact and generate an increasing amount of social benefits for its farmers!

The areas we identified for potential innovation are still under wraps, but be sure to keep checking all areas of your supermarkets for new healthy and delicious Jasberry products!

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