I — Jim Plamondon, age 55, AwardBest Founder and CEO — spent my career as a change agent in the computer industry, accelerating the adoption of new technologies, from object-oriented programming in the 1980s to cloud computing in the 2010s. My specialty was orchestrating multi-company projects that (a) created value for everyone and (b) got DONE.
I took a break in 2000, and started a Non-Government Organization (NGO) in Australia to raise money for other NGOs. In my best project there, I raised — in just 6 months — 15 times what a local NGO had raised in the previous 15 years. This campaign revitalized interest in the local NGO's project, which resulted in tens of millions more pouring into the project over the following decade.
In 2015, my kids were grown, my wife was recently deceased, I was financially independent, and I found myself at loose ends. Rather than re-engaging with the computer industry to solve yet another First World Problem (“been there, done that”), I sought an opportunity to use my "change agent" expertise to help solve a Third World Problem...and found one in Cambodia.
I learned that Cambodian Jasmine Rice had won The Rice Trader's international "The World's Best Rice™" competition — for three years in a row! — firmly establishing it as "The World's Best Rice." I also learned that the farmers growing The World’s Best Rice were among The World’s Poorest Farmers. Yet "a global increase in the price of rice" had been the key factor in lifting millions of Cambodians out of extreme poverty in the previous decade.
Clearly, if I could find a way to sell Cambodia Jasmine Rice in the USA for an even higher price, then I could pay Cambodian farmers — including my new Cambodian family — a even higher price for their rice, helping lift them, their neighbors, their village, and perhaps their entire district out of poverty. Furthermore, establishing that “Cambodian Jasmine Rice” could command an ultra-premium price could help other Cambodian rice exporters charge more for their products, too — potentially helping all Cambodian rice farmers. (See Regional Development via Ultra-Premium Cambodian Jasmine Rice.)
It took me a while to find the scientific papers that explained the Fundamental Problem with Jasmine Rice: that its unique flavor, fragrance, and tenderness arise from a complex suite of aromatic compounds that fade rapidly with age. Fortunately, other papers described a solution: quick-freezing jasmine rice and holding it in deep-freeze storage to preserve its harvest-fresh quality year-round. (See The Science of Jasmine Rice.)
So, now, I'm on a mission to bring the "world's best, harvest fresh" jasmine rice to American consumers for the first time, helping lift at least one Cambodian village — and perhaps many more — out of poverty in the process...and, later, other aromatic foods (e.g., vanilla beans) in addition to jasmine rice.
Which ain't a bad mission, all things considered. :-)
To provide the "world's best, harvest fresh" aromatic foods to consumers, while paying the world's best price to producers.
AwardBest's initial product is white jasmine rice. After the November 2016 crop (a year from now), I expect to offer brown jasmine rice. Later, I expect to explore vacuum-packing & flash-freezing other aromatic foods such as vanilla beans.
AwardBest Cambodian Jasmine Rice is of the variety Phka Rumduol™: the variety that has won The World's Best Rice™ competition (see Four Year Moving Average of Rice Bestiness™). It is the best of the rice varieties that are included in the trade name "Cambodian Jasmine Rice™."
The result of careful selection by traditional farmers across a thousand years, Phka Rumduol is uniquely suited to the rain-fed terrior of Cambodia's non-irrigated lowlands (especially the heavy clay soils of Battambang and Pursat provinces).
Under typical packaging and storage conditions, the natural aromatic compounds that give jasmine rice its enchanting flavor and fragrance decline by 25% in one month, 67% in three months, and 80% in six months. (See The Science of Jasmine Rice.)
Phka Rumduol is harvested only once per year, in November, so — under typical packaging and storage conditions — its flavor and fragrance have declined 25% by the end of December, 67% by February, and 80% by May. Inferior varieties, which can produce two crops per year (or three, if irrigated), decline with similar rapidity, but can provide additional harvests in February (and May).
There are two possible solutions to this decline in flavor and fragrance:
AwardBest's "quality solution" is not cheap, but — just as with frozen peas vs. dried peas — the improvement in quality is remarkable. And, with global energy prices having plummeted worldwide, flash-freezing and frozen storage are surprisingly affordable.
AwardBest has filed a provisional patent on its method and apparatus for enabling a year-round guarantee of "world's best, harvest fresh" aromatic agricultural products. I expect that this will be purely defensive.
I hope that you will experience AwardBest Cambodian Jasmine Rice for yourself.
It will be the best rice you've ever had — guaranteed.
Try it, and let me know what you think! :-)
To see who owns which trademarks, see our Trademark page.