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Bryan Hugill

Set of skills I bring into this venture

How we can contribute to SENSORICA's work: I think we're uniquely placed in that we deal with a relatively large number of small-scale farmers in Thailand (besides our own farm) who are growing a wide variety of crops in a similarly wide variety of soil and climate types. On top of this, we bring produce from these farmers into BKK ourselves, and then market it directly to end customers (through a CSA subscription model) and restaurants/hotels (regular wholesale). And finally, we encourage interaction between our farmers/food artisans and our customers through regular farm trips, food//hack events, farmers' markets, etc., allowing our customers to vet our work and to contribute their knowledge/ideas to farmers. What this all means is that (at least initially) we can rigorously field test products that are produce under the "Sensing and sensemaking for (g)local food systems" project platform, provide hard field comment on improvements that cold be made in future iterations, and we are able to market the products to paying customers too (depending on the complexity of the product, we may even be able to manufacture some items in-house or in-city to cut down on shipping costs). 

And, as we build up our interested community in the Open Food Lab, we should also be able to begin contributing to product development too (ongoing discussions I am having with various people here in BKK show that there is a wealth of knowledge and time available, the strong desire for contributing skills to more meaningful projects, and an incredible boredom with the current entertainment / creative outlet options available in BKK).

My motivation for being part of this venture

I am most keen on the "Sensing and sensemaking for (g)local food systems" project, especially as this stands to have the greatest direct impact on our work and what we've been trying to achieve over here in Thailand. With the ever-increasing number of food scandals coming out of East and Southeast Asia, especially related to pesticide and fertiliser use (as well as fake foods), we have increasing numbers of farmers and customers asking about testing. As testing kits are rather expensive in Thailand (not to mention, rather complicated and therefore out of the reach of most farmers), and sending foods (and soil samples) off for testing in independent govt/quasi-private labs is horrendously expensive and the results take months to come back (assuming they can even do the tests we require), the idea of such technology of lab-on-a-chip and integration into smartphone technology would radically change the game for us. 

Besides the testing of pesticides, nitrates, etc. in affordable and accessible ways, we want to begin working on improving the ways in which farmers can better understand how their crops grow (including how to better deal with pests and diseases using natural treatment/selection methods) and why they respond in the ways they do. And finally, to close the loop, we have begun working with some of our customers to test our produce themselves (using basic Brix testing for nutrient density for the moment), and this is something that I would like to greatly expand upon through the establishment of an Open Food Lab when we move to our new office in a few weeks' time.

Skype: bryan_hugill


system under construction... see value reputation and role


system under construction... see value reputation and role