Surprisingly juicy! Very sweet. Wow, it’s so purple! These are some of the comments Thanadon has received from his clients and friends, when they received or tasted his corn in a medley of colours.
What began as a favor to help an uncle to bring his truckloads of corn from the provinces to Bangkok, has now evolved into a digital operation – receiving thousands of orders to date. With the proper packaging, Thanadon is now exploring other verticals, in his quest to accelerate farm to table or farm to market. The rise of the corn indeed, and we sat down with him for a quick banter.
Q: Tell us a bit about your corn. What’s your brand positioning
A: Some of the corn is a hybrid between the normal yellow corn and the purple corn is called Siam Ruby Queen. Research on this was led by Dr.Taweesak from Kasetsart University. Some are also original corn from Hokkaido and Chiba, Japan – seeded in various farms here in Korat, Nakhon Phanom and Srakaew. We can call them Fruit Corn. It has been very well received by locals in Bangkok, and we are very busy delivering them daily. We are positioning ourselves as innovators – on Monday, the corn is harvested and by Wednesday you might be munching them from the comfort of your home, nutrient-packed!
Q: Why should we eat your corn?
A: Nutrient-packed! That is for sure, and also purple corn is very well known in South American countries. It is a source of antioxidants, so it can prevent many diseases. Colon cancer is one of them. Same goes for white corn. It is also very sweet, best eaten raw but equally tasty when you baked them to go along with your ribs or hearty meat meals.White Corn has high calcium ( and very absorbed into body). Purple corn is good for your diet, it promotes collagen creation too. We will be rolling out a range of fresh corn milk juice and corn silk tea – keep an eye out for it!
Q: Where are your farms currently and what lies ahead?
A: Currently we have 6 locations in Korat, Nakhon Phanom, Khon Kaen, Srakaew and Mae Hongson. They are all located in the Esan and North region. We are actively looking for more farm partners to meet demand. We recently spoke to an ad-genius (and magazine founder) who is from the trailblazing Mad Men era of advertisement. He is piqued and wants to collaborate, and to plant corn on his land in Ratchaburi. This will increase our production and with its close proximity to Bangkok, it will be easier for our plan to also create and market corn ice cream. Right now we are supporting the HPV cancer vaccine for vulnerable girl groups. So if you buy our special set, we will donate to this HPV initiative.
Q: Your success will also contribute to a social outreach you are leading. Tell us more.
A: Social outreach is my forte, having worked for various NGOs. I learn a lot on this from my time in the United States. Back home in Thailand, I created many projects to assist a group of youths who are HIV positive and develop the social protection for TB Patients who are poor and need to support some food between on treatment. They are abandoned by their family, cast out – and we provide a shelter for them. A house to live and to build on the hope of a better tomorrow. United in a love for local Esan opera or morlum, we formed a group – and we toured the northeast region, giving performances. The chance for the youths to band together for a performance is an uplifting one. And to further their cause, a part of the proceeds from our corn initiative will be rechanneled back to them.
To sum up, we are excited about the many channels that Longfood Farm and Thanadon are pursuing as he brings these colourful corn to market. As he enthused with a smile, “A corn a day keeps diseases at bay”. Do not underestimate the health benefits of corn, he added.
We look forward to more engaging news from his enterprising group and once his ice-cream shop opens, we will be the first in line!