Fancy finding a new type of gluten-free pasta formulated with super foods such as like acai berry, spirulina and chia that tastes like original Italian pasta in your local supermarkets?
This was the brainchild of Peetachai “Neil” Dejkraisak, founder of social enterprise Siam Organic and has been one of Siam Organic’s biggest innovations since winning the SGD75,000 seed funding in the DBS-NUS Social Venture Challenge (SVCA) by DBS bank last year.
The goal was simple – to make super food a convenient part of your everyday diet and make the super food gluten-free pasta taste just like the original Italian pasta. Siam Organic’s innovative formulation stands out from the rest of the normal gluten-free pasta without compromising on its taste.
The outcome? Pasta options such as Goji Berry x Turmeric, Acai Berry x Jasberry Rice, Chia x Quinoa and Spirulina and Moringa x Matcha Green Tea will be offered in supermarkets in the United States, EU, Australia and New Zealand by the end of this year and in Singapore and Hong Kong by early next year.
The Jasberry Rice was another innovation by Siam Organic and is currently being sold in Thailand and the US. The dark purple whole grain rice, developed through natural cross-breeding, is touted to have 10 times more antioxidants than green tea and 2.8 times more antioxidants than blueberries, while tasting like the famous Thai Jasmine rice. It also has the highest levels of anthocyanin, vitamin E and beta-carotene, compared to other varieties of rice in the market.
Helping farmers out of poverty
Through continuous innovation and producing nutritious organic super food products such as these, Siam Organic has help to alleviate poverty of farmers living in northeastern Thailand, and ultimately bringing them out of poverty and improving their health and quality of life.
Since winning DBS-NUS Social Venture Challenge Asia in 2016, Siam Organic has been able to increase the number of farmers they worked with by 80% (to over 1,800 farmers) as well as launching new organic products in several international markets successfully.
By providing the poor farmers with various forms of support such as Jasberry seeds, organic fertilisers, relevant training, micro-financing and paying them a premium price for the harvest, farmers get paid up to 200% more for Jasberry rice harvests compared to conventional commodity rice.
The farmers also get to keep a portion of the Jasberry rice for their personal consumption before selling the rest. Farmers and their families who have eaten the Jasberry rice had also reported improved health.
By achieving success in the international market, this will provide a market-driven solution to help bring farmers out of poverty in a sustainable, scalable and irreversible manner.
The Siam Organic story is one of the many successful innovative stories at DBS Innovates which shares the latest insights on helping social enterprises and new banking innovations.
All photos are credited to DBS bank.