11/2016, ZaiFarm has gradually taken shape with a long plan ahead - concerns about the health of every family and the people around them. We understand and it pains our heart when we listen to the farmer sharing their life's story. How they had sold everything to invest in the farm, invest in the Earth, but all they had received back was poisoning water and unfertilized land plagued by chemicals.
Our eyes are still targeting the same goal and same vision, but MEDIFOOD does not just stop at providing healthy natural foods, acting as a bridge between farmers and consumers like we have done before. With this comeback, we want to build a direct connection from farmers to consumers so that you can better understand how the foods are grown and the story behind each product that your family eats every day.
Return to nature
On the journey back to nature and connecting with farmers as well as customers, we have met happy and sad stories ... but in general, we all come back with a different mindset about farming.
We have connected with many farms in the Southern, Western and Central region of Vietnam such as Dong Thap, Binh Phuoc, Dong Nai, Lam Dong, Long An, Tay Ninh and Cử Chỉ to better understand the difficulties that farmers are facing.
Have you ever asked the question: "Why did farmers don’t practice organic farming in the first place?". They understand the direct health impacts of using pesticides and chemical fertilizers.
More than anyone else they are the first to be affected.The farmer told me, “By spraying chemicals all the time it blind them to see the truth, but what can they do? Pests are everywhere and the fruit tree does not produce good looking fruit. People don’t buy fruits that don’t look good. Farmers are forced to throw it away. In many worst cases, the land is degraded by over use of chemicals and the fruit trees must be cut down after more than 3 years of hard labor. All the money that was invested in the farm for more than 3 years does not pay anything, but now the farmer owes the bank hundreds of million vnđ that they do not know when they can pay it.”“.
The beginning of Zai Farm
1 November, 2016
Zai Farm started in November 2016 with a long-term plan to bring home-grown, natural and healthy products at the farm prices to help increase farmers' income.
Zai Farm's Journey
1 December, 2016
We spend a lot of time learning, visiting, surveying and trying to persuade growers who are cultivating using VietGAP standard to switch to organic farming, however, during that time, the organic markets is not well understood, so the farmers are worried about whether there will be buyer or not so Zai Farm has had a lot of trouble convincing them to switch.
Zai Farm's Pivot
1 January, 2017
Zai Farm decided to switch to a household garden - most farmers have a small vegetable garden that they grow for their family, but they cannot consume all of the produce. Our goal was to help them sell the extra produce to earn more income.
The early days of Zai Farm
5 January, 2017
During the first few weeks of officially introducing Zai Farm, our team had to run more than 60 floors by every couple days to hand out brochures and survey each household. There were times when we fell down because we didn't have enough stamina to walk through all those floors... but in the end we got through and received support from many residents.
The "legendary" cart
15 January, 2017
Or going on survey trips by motorbike in the midday sun, even when I am drenched in the rain carrying baskets of grapefruit to the buses to send to Ho Chi Minh city, the times I pushed the trolleys from my apartment to the common area to introduce to customers and being chased away by security guards. Even the times I carried each big basket of fruit from the front gate to back to my apartment. My family follows my work on the Zai Farm fan page and they are saddened because of the extreme job I have taken up, but in the end everyone supported my effort. The proof is the "legendary" vegetable cart that my Dad made for me and many of many customers love it.
Or in the early days, when we started selling, we lacked everything, even the scale, a guest gave a scale to use and another guest came down every week to help us with giving change to customers because there were many customers that we cannot help everyone. Those are wonderful memories and experiences that we will be forever thankful for.
Zai Farm's obstacles
15 January, 2017
At that time, the market for organic products was still not well known and awareness of the health value from organic foods was not widely understood as now, so the demand for organic food is not high. Zai Farm had to spend a lot of time explaining and convincing customers the health value behind organic food.
Zai Farm suspended
1 July, 2018
Left with only one member and all the works from transportation, farms management to customer care. Due to insufficient manpower, after 6 months, we decided to stop Zai Farm operation.
Our return with MEDIFOOD.IO
1 September, 2019
Our return with MEDIFOOD.IO (early September 2019) We still think about Zai Farm during the past couple years and we also try to revive the idea behind Zai Farm. With our experiences from Zai Farm, we decided to return and try again with one important new difference: having a good team that shares the same vision and more money.
In addition, we are fortunate to have the support of two advisors with many years of experience in the fields of agriculture and technology. What we are passionate about is still the same. We decided to return with the name MEDIFOOD.IO, but not only to provide healthy organic foods or a bridge between farmers and customers like before. With this comeback, we want to build a direct connection between farmers and buyers so that you can better understand how your foods are grown and know the story behind each product that you and your family eat everyday.
1 October, 2019
Medifood's planning and preparation phase (10.2019 - 11.2019) With the experience from Zai Farm, valuable customer relationships and our team combined experiences. Together, we come up with a better plan, a more elaborated and sound strategy to help farmers and more importantly, to provide healthy organic foods at an affordable price.
1 November, 2019
Farms survey phase (11.2019 - 4.2020) 11.2019 - 3.2020. We planned and worked to create a pilot program in Binh Phuoc province to show farmers who want to practice organic, natural farming that sustainable farming is possible and profitable. However, for various reasons the plan was postponed due many unforeseen issues such as delay in paperwork and bureaucracy.
Tập trung hỗ trợ nhà nông
1 April, 2020
We have decided to give priority to farmers who are struggling to get their product to market or are having financial difficulty to keep their door open. In addition, we also prioritize supporting farms that are failing or want to convert to sustainable organic farming.