In Chiang Rai Province in Northern Thailand, farmers On Sukkaseam and Jumnong Inthatow have spent their whole lives cultivating the land. Like most of the 6.4 million Thais who farm for a living, they’ve struggled with low and unpredictable income. This changed nearly ten years ago when On and Junmong joined Chacha’s organic farming program.
Chacha is a producer of organic rice noodles sold under the Perfect Earth brand. As a social enterprise, Chacha recruits and trains poor indigenous farmers in sustainable agricultural methods. Chacha also commits to buy 100% of their suppliers’ output at a pre-determined price. Today, more than 300 farmers like On and Jumnong have seen their incomes nearly double while improving the health and fertility of their rice fields.
One-third of the world gets one-third of their calories from rice. If you want to tackle poverty in Southeast Asia, there’s no better place to focus than on rice.
Before joining Chacha’s supplier program, On and Junmong relied on expensive fertilizers and pesticides to keep their yields up. Every harvest required even more intensive applications as the soil was stripped of its nutrients. Seeing no future in farming, they encouraged their children to move to Bangkok.
“Chacha introduced us to organic farming. As a result, we are now healthier and have a better quality of life. We no longer use poisons, and we are able to increase our income because Chacha pays us more for our paddy than non-organic rice,” shared Junmong.
Beneficial Returns supports social enterprises like Chacha that employ market-based solutions to reduce poverty and improve the environment in Southeast Asia and Latin America. Beneficial Returns provided Chacha a loan to launch its organic instant noodle line and work with even more farmers like On and Jumnong.
Beneficial Returns has provided loans to more than fifteen social enterprises like Chacha that are fighting poverty and protecting the environment in Southeast Asia and Latin America. Our investors, who participate via recoverable grants, are family foundations, donor-advised funds, and faith-based communities.