Wild Asia FRESH is currently looking for industry partners in sustainable agriculture and interested entrepreneurs or business owners to kick-start the programme.
Industrial agriculture in Malaysia, from temperate vegetables in the highlands to oil palm production in the lowlands, is based on intensive farming methods, heavy use of fertilisers and chemicals; and almost entirely dependent on migrant labour.
Communities are marginalised from these developments, rivers are choked with silt, and wildlife diversity diminishes due to a combination of loss of habitat and chemical poisoning.
This economic model may bring high returns in the short-term, but in the long run, it poses financial and ecological risks. These include:
- Trade bans due to chemical content in food, or consumer pressure for "sustainable" products.
- Soil properties diminished from intensive farming. In the long run, more inputs (e.g. fertilisers) will be required otherwise production will be affected. This increases the cost of production and also damages the ecology of the area.
- Farmers, without access to markets, being forced into a price war that results in the cheapest produce being sold from the farm.
Organic farming models are on the rise. Some have been around for the last 10 years. The existence of organic farming experiences provides us with an opportunity to help these pioneer farmers expand their business through various forms of effective marketing:
- Using social media to create better links to consumers;
- Creating market links to higher value markets (such as restaurants and hotels); and
- Raising awareness in general about the food we eat (this in turn promotes a new way of creating food).
Pioneers can then become "role models" to neighbouring farmers, increasing the amount of organic farming in the country. Aside from that, we see an opportunity to increase understanding and awareness of the food we consume, and the consumption of local food supplies.
By helping these pioneers, we're carrying out our vision: to adopt International models for agriculture sustainability in Malaysia and demonstrate that it works, has strong financial returns, and creates better communities. We're committed to this vision but we know we can't do it alone.
Our approach will be to identify existing farmers who are adopting "sustainable models" and provide direct support to them. The project needs to be financially strong from the outset to ensure it has sufficient funds for technical advisory support, extended market reach, or other capital inputs. For this, we will require additional capital or investments.
The ultimate goal is to create self- sustaining models that continue to innovate, provide education, reach out to people, and create new markets for sustainable products.
The main outputs of the project would be:
- A network of farmers adopting sustainable farming techniques. The network would provide a platform for farmers to learn, share, and promote their best practices.
- A model for fair-trade that is supported by the market (business and consumers).
- A recognisable brand in the market: FRESH KL, FRESH Jakarta, etc.
- A sustainable revenue model for FRESH that provides returns for all key stakeholders.
The following provides means for which we can demonstrate success of the project:
- Number of farmers following the scheme's code of conduct.
- Volume of produce sold under the scheme.
- Total area of farms under the scheme.
- Number and value of business contracts established under the scheme.
- Number of registered users (end users and consumers) in marketing networks.
For a detailed proposal of the Wild Asia FRESH project, contact us today!
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