What is better than a grower producing fresh crops? A whole network of them, all collaborating to provide chemical pesticide-free and fresh produce. That is what the JustGood Group in Malaysia is doing. When the pandemic hit, they saw the opportunity to build a network of farms by partnering with other farms in response to the increasing demand for healthier food. Now, not even two years later, they grow green coral, red coral, red oak, butterhead, baby spinach, baby pak choy, coriander, daun sup (Chinese parsley), and mint.
Together is better than alone
They do not, however, simply let other farms do all the growing; they have their own greenhouse and their own brand with four business verticals under one roof: JustGood Roots, which focusses on growing their own types of vegetables, JustGood Farms, which manages and nurtures partner farms to grow selected vegetables under their supervision, JustGood Grocer, which focusses on warehousing and online retailing, selling fresh produce and other daily necessities, and JustGood Meal, which, through their online platform, offers ready-to-eat and ready-to-cook meals, which are all made with their fresh produce.
Their collaboration with other farms across Malaysia, however, is what distinguishes them. “We operate a network of farms of varying sizes within selected geographic areas within the country. By doing so, we reduce various operational risks and ensure our produce is of a higher quality. We have built a complete ecosystem of operations that elevates the farm-to-fork focus, as we take the distance from our distribution centers into account: the shorter the distance between the farm to the fork, the fresher the produce will be. That is what the consumers want,” said Zachary Aman, Group CEO of JustGood Group. (above)
Moreover, “JustGood Group’s network is expanding, and it also covers countries beyond our boundaries. We have identified various partners locally and abroad, and we are working with hardware manufacturers to come up with a more efficient and cost-effective configuration of the IoT systems and equipment we use in our farms. However, we are very careful about our geographic expansion, as we don’t want to compromise our ability to maintain transparency and traceability, and above all freshness of the fresh produces to consumers.”
That transparency is a priority at JustGood Group: “We offer traceability and transparency, so consumers have peace of mind knowing where their fresh produce comes from and that it is produced ethically.” Sustainability and smart farming, too, are high on their list: “In our greenhouse, we grow using sustainable, smart precision farming methods.”
Driven by factors such as the limited availability of marketing channels in Malaysia, JustGood Group explains they are optimizing and expanding their marketing channels to further advocate smart precision farming in Malaysia. They are optimistic, especially as smart precision farming is growing rapidly in Malaysia: “Agriculture remains an important part of the regional economy in the new millennium, as it provides food security and safety, sustainable development, and wealth creation to the people. The Malaysian government has pointed out recently that the nation should start building an agriculture sector that is more responsive to the country’s contemporary food. The government is shifting its focus toward smart precision farming, which provides an opportunity for consulting and technology companies to collaborate and come up with technological solutions. Perhaps it will also create an opportunity for more farmers to join the JustGood Group."
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