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Asia Beautiful Fellowship program helps to alleviate the climate crisis by finding social entrepreneurs with effective solutions in Asian developing countries and supporting them in various ways
to make the impact they create sustainably.
Do you know how much food waste is generated every year in the world?
It is about 1.3 billion tons, which is one-third of total food production,
and the amount of carbon dioxide generated by this is about 3.3 billion tons per year.
This is because methane gas is not only used for producing and transporting food
but also emitted from food waste itself.
The second fellow of the 2nd Asia Beautiful Fellow, Willie Ng,
is bringing a circular economy of agriculture by managing agricultural waste (food waste)
in a special way in Malaysia!
So, let me introduce how Willie tackles the agricultural waste!
If you would like to know more about Asia Beautiful Fellow, such as the business background,
selection process, and support benefits, please click the link below!
ⓒEco Business, Global Cerah
Global Cerah is a social enterprise in Malaysia that creates a circular economy in the agricultural sector by turning organic waste into alternative food and feed through "Black Soldier Fly(BSF)" which eats and decomposes food waste. Agricultural and food wastes collected from farms and homes are decomposed and processed into organic fertilizers and feeds through raising BSF and BSF is dried and reborn as alternative proteins.
Willie had many opportunities to think about the "sustainable business model" while majoring in finance. The young generation in Malaysia is not interested in the sustainability of the agricultural sector, despite the fact that agricultural fields such as food security have become a major social issue as agricultural prices rise every year. In addition, Willie has been interested in the environment, including participating in an international NGO's education project on waste management. So, he decided to create sustainability in agriculture by dealing with agricultural waste management and food security.
The word "Cerah" of Global Cerah means "brightening" in Malaysian,
which means that it wants to give a bright solution globally to everyone.
So, what specifically does Willie want to come up with a solution for?
ⓒ The Star online
According to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), 24% of the world's greenhouse gas emissions are emitted in agriculture, forests, and other land-use sectors, and if expanded to the entire food system, it accounts for 34% of the total emissions. Organic waste generated in Malaysia amounts to 1.8 kg per household, accounting for 44.5% of the total waste (KOTRA, 2019). 80% of the total organic waste generated is disposed of in landfill, and only 8 out of 165 landfills in Malaysia are sanitary landfill sites, so the problem of organic waste generation and management in Malaysia is serious. Some experts predict that there will be no more land for landfill in 2050 unless appropriate measures are taken to address these problems.
Also, Malaysia's agricultural area is about 86,270 square kilometers, accounting for 26.3% of the total land area. However, most farms use chemical fertilizers, which negatively affects the environment. Furthermore, Malaysia imported about $2 million of chemical fertilizers (KOTRA, 2021) in 2020 and the price of them is high, so Willie produces organic fertilizers in Malaysia and supplies them at an appropriate price.
Willie and Global Cerah are playing important roles because Malaysia lacks specific policies and strategies to dispose of organic waste generated in the agricultural sector, and efforts are needed to create a sustainable environment in the agricultural ecosystem.
So, let me introduce details about what Willie and Global Cerah do!
1. Collection of organic waste (food waste)
ⓒ Global Cerah
Willie is collecting organic waste from individuals and businesses. He collected it from individual farmers as free to inform them of the proper agricultural waste management method. Vegetables, bananas, and food waste from stores that are not commercially available or sold are the main targets for collection. Organic waste is collected through a central processing center where anyone can throw away their waste.
Currently, there are about 40 farmers who continue to use Global Cerah, and the number of farmers who have ever used Global Cerah is about 300. Global Cerah collects about 100 tons of agricultural waste a month.
2. Production and sale of organic fertilizers through BSF
(BSF Larvae, BSF Protein Power, Coconut Feed Meal)
Most farmers in Malaysia usually use imported fertilizers and their price is not stable, which makes them spend a lot on fertilizers. In addition, chemical fertilizers are mainly used adversely affecting the environment.
To solve this problem, Willie makes about 50 to 60 tons of organic fertilizers from 100 tons of collected food waste using Global Cerah’s machine. Distinguished from other BSF companies, Global Cerah’s machine is an automated system, and he is constantly trying to upgrade its technology. In 2024, he is planning to develop a second-generation system, which aims to collect more than 400 tons of organic waste in a month and turn them into organic fertilizer.
Organic fertilizers made in this way are sold at 40-50% off prices to farmers who provide agricultural wastes to Global Cerah. Farmers using organic fertilizers of Global Cerah give positive feedback that crops have become resistant to pests. Also, BSF products are exported overseas because they get interest from other countries such as the United States, Germany, the United Kingdom, France, and Japan.
3. Overseas Consulting
Willie shares the technology of Global Cerah with developing Asian countries such as the Philippines, Cambodia, and Indonesia to help manage agricultural waste. Agricultural waste management and environmental issues are one of the important issues in other developing countries where the agricultural industry has developed. Through consulting on Global Cerah's technology and operation, he is spreading the impact of Global Cerah by helping Asian developing countries manage agricultural waste.
In addition, there were difficulties in selling organic fertilizers in the Philippines, which were made with Global Cerah's technology. So, he imports fertilizer and BSF products produced in the Philippines to support its export markets.
So, Willie is working for a circular economy of the agricultural sector in Malaysia.
He tries to solve environmental problems by treating organic waste in a sustainable way.
Please pay attention to the stories of people who are making beautiful changes with Willie!
Co-founder, Billie Hong
I'm the CTO of Global Cerah. When I was interested in environmental issues, I met Willie at the UN program and started a business together. I am currently in charge of technology maintenance, development, and research. Global Cerah's BSF machine was built through cooperation with universities in Taiwan, so I am also in charge of communication with these partners.
Global Cerah’s mission, providing agricultural waste management solutions, works well with my personal values in terms of helping the community. So, I feel proud of my job.
When the importance of our business is recognized and received funds from the government, I think this was the happiest moment in that I can continue doing this work.
Also, Willie is the one who makes Global Cerah continue to run in the face of challenges such as the Covid 19 with his great ability to manage finances and knowledge of business management in general.
Marketing Director, Angie
I am in charge of marketing and communication at Global Cerah. Also, I am educating local governments, farmers, and citizens on how to properly manage agricultural waste. The special characteristic of Global Cerah is not just to promote our products for marketing, but to convey the story of what our mission and vision is.
Willie is a responsible person and has an open-mind on all issues related to business management. I think his ability to solve problems by communicating with other co-workers is good.
As I work as an early member of Global Cerah, I hope that the activities I am doing now will spread to more people and raise public awareness of the sustainable environment.
How was the story of Willie, the second fellow of the 2nd Asia Beautiful Fellow?
The Beautiful Store Foundation is walking with Asian social entrepreneurs
trying to tackle environmental problems, including Willie.
Please look forward to seeing how great activities will be conducted
during 2 years with The Beautiful Store Foundation.
We support the future of Willie and Global Cerah,
who are working to create a circular economy in the agricultural sector!
The Beautiful Store Foundation will continue to support in cooperation with local residents
and partners for ‘beautiful change’ in the world, and we ask for your support for self-reliance and sustainable development in the region.
Thank you very much.