In 2016 Fungi Co had the great privilege of travelling to Hanoi, Vietnam and meeting Trang Tran the founder and CEO of Fargreen. We were introduced to the office staff at Fargreen and spent time with Trang discussing mushroom growing, and the business model of Fargreen.
Trang Tran has a business background and is a self confessed foodie. In 2014 her Fargreen team was successful in winning the Postcode Lottery Green Challenge and awarded 200,000 euros. She has a modern global outlook, is multilingual and has developed links with MIT, local universities and altruistic professionals around the world to continue and further develop Fargreen.
Fargreen's primary goal is to enhance traditional rice growing farms with edible fungi growing, replacing burning fields of rice waste practice. Fargreen is a wonderful example of a triple bottom line business where social, economic and environmental factors are valued, incorporated into the business model and continuously improved.
Fargreen's mushroom growing practice involves farmers collecting waste rice straw from the rice harvest and taken to a central location. The straw is cold pastuerized then inoculted with straw mushrooms or oyster mushroom strains and returned to farmers for the growing or fruiting phase. Farmers then harvest the mushrooms and return them to a central location for selling. This enables farmers to have a mushroom crop from a waste source.
Farmers are further supported via Fargreen with education programs and regular support group meetings. This has resulted in increased incomes for farmers, increased knowledge and skills, networking and awareness of sustainable farming practices. Fargreen uses a modular method of fungi growing infrastructure for rice farmers which is scalable and thoughtful with use of sustainable materials. Trang mentioned that a consequence of introducing mushroom growing to rice farmers was the interest in farmers of improving their rice crops for higher quality fungi growing.
We were very grateful for Trang's time and her insights into her company that promotes better quality food and environment, and using fungi to allow people to step away from degrading their environment for economic reasons.