IBD Team Hilltribe Organics enjoys an evening of baking and bonding
Hilltribe Organics (HTO) is an intriguing social enterprise focused on Thailand. It was created as part of a YPO competition that aimed to foster an entrepreneurship mindset among young leaders and to define solutions to help marginalized farmers’ communities in Thailand. Today HTO’s mission is to achieve long term sustainability for the rural farming families of the socially marginalized hill tribe communities of Northern Thailand. Since launching in 2014, HTO has become the #1 organic free range egg brand in Thailand based on the high quality of their eggs and sustainable production.
The current spring semester IBD project team has been asked to develop a business strategy to allow HTO to expand beyond organic egg production into organic dessert production in Thailand and the surrounding region. Last month the IBD team took advantage of a rare opportunity to meet their project client in person — well before the California shelter in place directive was announced. HTO Co-Founder and CEO Richard W. Blossom invited the IBD team to his home in the Bay Area soon after the entire student team was formed in late February.
Student Team Lead Thais Esteves and Team Members Ana Alanis, Burton Mendonca, Marguerite de Chaumont Quitry, and Santiago Correa Posada all joined Faculty Mentor Judy Hopelain at Richard’s home to work on baking and sampling potential organic dessert items as part of the current IBD project. As Judy Hopelain reported afterwards, “This kind of informal interaction usually doesn’t happen until teams are in-country. It was an amazing opportunity to get to know the client and their story behind the company in a relaxed setting at the beginning of the project.”
In addition to experimenting and baking desserts with HTO organic eggs, that night the IBD team was treated to an organic pasta dinner courtesy of Perfect Earth Foods, which uses raw materials from farmers in Thailand. As HTO CEO Richard Blossom said after the event, “The best way to think about a food project is to cook and eat the product! Plus it’s a great way to get to know about the project and one another.”