MYANMORE Guide To Buying Organic
Organic is a term referring to food grown without use of chemicals or other techniques harmful to humans or the land it was farmed upon. Many Myanmar farmers apply pesticides excessively with little awareness of the effects on consumers and themselves.
Concern of unregulated chemical use has inspired several expats and Myanmar entrepreneurs to provide healthier options to Yangon grocery stores and households. While most of the demand for organic food comes from the expat community, advocates are confident that more locals will ‘go organic’ once they taste the natural flavor of the slightly more expensive product. Here is a list of some services in Yangon where you can buy fruit & vegetables grown safely, sustainably and locally in Myanmar. Go to MYANMORE.com for more info on the growing organic movement.
Major Providers That Also Deliver To Your Home
Fresco was one of the first, and remains one of largest, food services in the country. The goal is to provide Myanmar with organic fruit and vegetables from local farmers, ensuring food safety while reducing carbon emissions. Fresco contracts independent farmers from all over the country, with the goal of reaching 200 farmers in a few months. By using their own farms as models, they provide training and the seed stock to farmers to help them produce a quality yield. Fresco doesn’t have a storefront, but you can taste their fruit & vegetables in dozens of hotels, restaurants and supermarkets (Citymart being the main one) in almost every Myanmar city. They also have a home delivery service, for 23,00 Kyat, for a veggie box that can be customized if given prior notice.
Mya Chemical Free (MCF)
Place an Order: myachemicalfree.com // 09 444 034 301
MCF delivers produce free of pesticides and other chemicals to the doorstep of their customers. After trying tomatoes with a plastic-like taste, a small group of Burmese friends turned their gardens into chemical free farms. Now they operate three, and contract independent farmers as well. There is no membership fee for household deliveries, just the cost of the product and the delivery. You can also try their produce at Sharky’s, District Coffee, Acadia and the restaurant at the Kandawgyi Palace Hotel. Alternatively, you can meet the MCF team at the Saturday market at La Carovana.
Stores To Buy It From
North side of Kandawgyi Park across the street from the Japanese Embassy, Bahan Township // Mon-Sat 9am-5pm
What began as an initiative to educate farmers on Chemical-Free practices is now a popular organic grocery store that caters to families and restaurants of Yangon. May Myat Thwe has used her background in engineering and business to make Go Green an expanding enterprise in the span of a year. Expats are often thrilled to see a packet of organic lettuce go for 1000 Ks, or fresh bok choy for 400 K. But May Myat is quick to point out that these prices are still too high for many in Myanmar unfamiliar with the benefits of organic. When locals come in to buy bananas or papayas, grown at a farm only 1.5 hours away, she likes to give out samples of produce that they may have not tried before. Her efforts have made their 5 types of spinach a big hit. Besides the store, Go Green provides the produce for Sprouts, Yangon Bakehouse and Craft.
La Carovana Saturday Market 9am-4pm
This NGO works with beekeepers in Shan State to produce and distribute high-quality organic honey. The product will soon be used for cosmetic and candle manufacturing but anyone can buy a beautiful jar of Plan Bee honey at the Saturday market at La Carovana.
Organic Farmers Market
North side of Kandawgyi Park across the street from the Japanese Embassy, Bahan Township
This small mobile market is a favorite for runners of Kandawgyi Park and anyone else who is out and about by 7am on Saturdays. Burmese requests for ‘iceberg’ or ‘romaine’ are common for nearby residents who live far from Myanmar Plaza– another carrier of their fruit & vegetables. One of the usual sellers packages homemade pennywort powder supplements that are also organic.
Where You Can Participate
Yin Yin Phyu and Thein Soe Min founded this social enterprise after graduating from the Yezin Agricultural University. Their mission is to share their extensive knowledge on sustainable farming and engineering techniques. The organization holds several workshops in Yangon as well as Shan State. They’re always ready to assist businesses or individuals with agricultural projects. Contact them by email if you are interested in volunteering or simply learning more about sustainable agriculture in Myanmar.