By Andrea Cross
With so many different departments and areas within ZOE Thailand, it could be easy to overlook this one because it predominantly happens “behind the scenes.” It is definitely not unimportant though because so much time, effort, and research is spent making sure the most effective processes are in place. This week we wanted to take the time to highlight just one example of the many situations our Agricultural Team need to work through on a regular basis. Recently they reached a decision regarding – CORN!
Every year, ZOE needs to acquire a significant amount of corn to help offset the cost of food for the pig farm. In the past, corn has been grown and harvested at ZOE, however, after doing some in-depth cost analysis, it was discovered that corn could be bought at a lower overall cost than producing it ourselves.
The Agricultural Team wanted to find out the reason for this and it came down to these main factors. The first one was that the land that had been used to grow the corn wasn’t big enough to produce all the corn ZOE needed. There was a shortfall in corn produced, which meant buying extra pig food commercially, which added a large cost. The other factor was that by buying it in bulk, a lot of man-hours were saved, meaning the Agricultural Team could accomplish more in other areas, using the same amount of time.
So, how much corn are we talking about here? This year, ZOE ordered 15,000 kilograms of corn directly from corn farmers (or 33,000 pounds). The cost was about 4,700 USD. And this corn is used purely to supplement the pig’s meals and ensure they have a well balanced diet. They also get significant amounts of bananas and papayas (grown at ZOE) in addition to commercial pig food, rice, and of course scraps from the kitchen!