Ugly Veggies” is a new platform that sells “full-of-quality ugly veggies”. The platform, arising from an outstanding KKU research study, has been invented for reducing food waste and building more incomes for farmers. The other purpose is to respond to SDG2 – ZERO HUNGER, which also aims at building food security.
The situation of food remains or waste is an issue faced by all countries that are now joining to solve the problem. The solution is by deploying circulating economy that would lead to administration and management, through integration of information, for lessening food loss and food waste for utmost benefits. This is the strategy all sectors, including Khon Kaen University, see as important.
Asst. Prof. Chavis Ketkaew, Ph.D., Vice Dean for Strategy, Research and International Affairs, International College and Director of the “Ugly Veggies Thailand” Project, explained about the initiation of the “Ugly Veggies Thailand”. A target community of the International College is the farmer group in Kranuan District, Khon Kaen. The College has been supporting the community in ‘Smart Farming’, and after a period of study here, it was found that the community has one ‘Pain Point’, i.e., after screening market-required standard organic vegetables, at around 50-70%, there is the remaining amount of 30% that is discarded unused.
“Other farmer groups also face this problem. This led to the question of how we should do to attain Zero Waste in the process of organic vegetable production. At the same time, we do not only think of how to dispose of waste, but to find ways to add values to the remaining items.”
Asst. Prof. Chavis added that if we can make use of the organic veggie production process according to the target, at 100%, the household farm wastes will reduce at 5-6 tons per year. The research team for this purpose, granted the research support from the National Research Council, thus proceeded to perform the research by developing a platform called “Ugly Veggies” as a channel for farmers holding a certificate that certifies the reliability and safety of their organic veggies. The platform sells “ugly veggies” that still have quality but remain from screening for supermarket sell by posting online at: https://uglyveggies.kku.ac.th/ and on Line Official named: “Ugly Veggies Thailand” (Line: https://kku.world/uglyveggies)
Customers can select the products they like, including ugly veggies, high-quality organic veggies, fruits, and innovation goods made from left over veggies such as Jelly Joy, a product made from organic veggies with probiotics and pre-biotics. The product has undergone an experiment with a sample group. Jelly Joy can be chewed and suits those suffering from the excretory system. There are also other products to be sold. Customers may also choose a shop to survey the products and chat directly with the seller.
“The International College administers and manages this process as an admin. We built the platform, designed and now manage both the back and front of the page to look lively and attractive so that customers will visit the platform and buy the products. We may also set different promotions that ease buying and selling for the farmers to post their products for selling by themselves as well as dispatching the goods to customers.”
Ugly Veggies is now being developed as a Start Up. The income arising from the platform or Gross Profit (GP) is calculated from the total income of the farmer, deducting transportation cost. The calculation program has been written and put in the platform already just like the general Delivery System.
From the study and research on consumers’ behaviors, it was found that most customers are the health-cautious group and middle-aged people who cook food themselves or mothers who want to make chemical-free dishes for their children. The group also includes those who want to cook food with organic veggies for the elderly in the house. This information helps the researchers to construct a business strategy by designing the selling, building brands and setting suitable prices for the target group, all of which lead to safety food for consumers and good business for sellers.
However, in addition to social assistance, economic, social and environmental development according to the goal of Khon Kaen University in SDG2 – ZERO HUNGER and food security (Khon Kaen University has been ranked the first in the country by THE Impact Rankings 2023 (Times Higher Education); this research has created a venue for new researchers to learn and understand the community problems, which would in turn lead to Khon Kaen University’s research progress.
Farmers and customers can get more information from: Facebook Page:
and Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/uglyveggies.th/
News: Benjamaporn Mamook
Photos: International College, KKU