TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Blueseeds has won the 2019 Asia Pacific Social Innovation Partnership Award (APSIPA) for its partnership with the Garden of Hope Foundation (GOHF) to extend the value of eco-friendly medical herb plantation and share the benefits arising from products made of the herbs, award organizer said.
The award is associated with the Asia Pacific Social Enterprise Summit, which will take place at Kaohsiung Exhibition Center on May 11 - 12.
Blueseeds is an herbal product company with essential oils, herbal soap bars and shampoos, and herbal dish cleaners being its main staples. Blueseeds Chief Operating Officer (COO) Shelley Chang (張瑾文) said the company insists on making zero-chemical products from herbs naturally grown by local farmers in Taiwan’s eastern county of Taitung who engage in contract farming.
In addition to medical herbs, Chang said the company has farmers grow soapwort, from which natural saponin is extracted to replace surfactants made of chemical compounds. The saponin will be used to make soaps, shampoos and dish cleaners, which are free of environmental hormones, also known as Endocrine disrupter substance (EDS).
The COO said that the model of contract farming has proven to be much more profitable for local farmers. She added that, two or three years ago, the farmers made about NT$200,000 – 300,000 from a hectare of land, now they can make NT$1.5 – 2 million.
Chang said it’s a good business model that benefits the consumers, environment, and farmers, and is consistent with the company’s policy of caring for the land and helping farmers and the underprivileged. She added Blueseeds also has a policy of donating 5% of its profits to NGOs.
Speaking of the company’s partnership with the GOHF, Chang said Blueseeds has been donating products to the NGO, but thinks that, in addition to donations, there should be a more sustainable way of sponsoring the charity.
Therefore, Blueseeds has been hiring and training clients of the GOHF, most of whom have been subjected to sexual abuse or domestic violence, to sell company products, giving them a stable job and income.
Blueseeds was honored by the APSIPA award for its partnership with the GOHF to create an environmentally friendly value chain and enhance the sustainability of the NPO, APSIPA organizer said.
In addition, Blueseeds has been working with Taiwan Women's Baseball Advocate Association to promote the sport of women’s baseball, and they will jointly hold the first Blueseeds Cup International Women’s Baseball Invitational Tournament on May 23 - 25. Six teams from Japan, Malaysia, Hong Kong, and Taiwan will compete in the tournament.
The preliminary matches will take place on Taipei’s Guanshan Riverside Park Base Field (觀山河濱公園棒球場) on May 23, and then on Xinsheng Park Baseball Field (新生公園棒球場) on May 24 – 25, along with a garden party on May 25.
Chang said the company hopes to promote women’s baseball in Taiwan, which has been largely ignored by the society, and engage in people-to-people diplomacy through baseball, which is Taiwan's national sport.