DO-IT has established strong relationships with partners in Thailand. There is a big potential in organic produce due to the fertile regions, traditional methods, and advanced techniques. NGC, Natural Growth Company is run by Tom and Anne-Mary Barnes. The couple has a long experience in organic agriculture in Asia. As insiders they know the culture and the ins and outs. They are very concerned about the country and the people and aware of the specific needs of the projects.
Originating in Thailand, Hom Mali rice is the world’s only traditional rice with a natural fragrance simular to the pandanus plant. Hom is the name of the delicate unique aroma, Mali the name of the jasmine-white appearance.The rice is known worldwide as Jasmine rice or Pandan rice. The rice grows best in the Northeastern region of Thailand which has a mild subtropical climate, enough sun for the photo-sensitive rice, and rainfall during the growing season. NGC helps the farmers with organization, certification, markets and exports. There are about 130 farmers involved in the project, in 5 contracted groups with a leader appointed by the members. The total area is approx. 600 hectares. The rice needs time to grow and there is only one harvest a year while other rice varieties can have two harvests with more yield. The slow growth is part of the quality, and apart from the subtle aroma the rice is very nutritious in fiber, B vitamins and minerals.
DO-IT and NGC participate in Fair Trade IBD, a program for fair relations in trading socially and environmentally certified organic products. The distinction between Fair Trade IBD and other Fair Trade organizations lies in the implementation of the cultural diversities and the social, economic and environmental diversity of operations. It is more efficient and less costly to have all these aspects covered in one single organization.
Other regions in Thailand are more suitable for cane sugar or tapioca with a high potential. Infrastructure and transport are well developed and DO-IT partners know the needs of the farmers.