April 20, 2020
Story From A Small Farm In The North Of Thailand
By Sita Sussangkarn
“Action and adaptability create opportunity.” Garrison Wynn
With the pandemic sweeping the globe, small businesses have taken a hit with reduced business, causing a spiral effect of loss through the community. But through crisis comes opportunity to adapt to change and create life through challenge.
As a small business owner in Thailand, our family runs a hydroponic farm in the north of Thailand. We have been supplying pesticide-free fresh hydroponic lettuces for hotels, restaurants and cafés in Chiang rai for more than ten years.
With Covid-19, many hotels and restaurants could not stay open and 80% of our customers sadly had to close their business for a while. We were only growing lettuce by order and with this unexpected chaos, we were left to pick up the pieces of leftover lettuce. With so much loss, our first reaction, like many others, was to close the farm. BUT who would take care of our people, our community, our economy.
With much thought and so much leftover lettuces in front of us, we decided to send some samples to our friends, families and those who could be our potential customers in Bangkok. Bangkok One Day delivery shipping cost for agriculture produces i.e. vegetables and lettuces by Thai post is much cheaper than before (USD1.55 for products weight between 1-3 kg.), making the shipping cost reasonable and, more attractive to potential customers in Bangkok.
With support from our team, we innovated and quickly made changes to our packaging and selection of travelable lettuce. As this new model takes effect, with new channels created and increased orders, the farm is still open and surviving. We came together as an even stronger team, supporting each other and lead the charge to support and influence the health of the community.
Sita Sussangkarn Senior Project Manager XPotential and The Consumer Healthcare Training Academy