Siew Hoon Yeoh, founder of Web in Travel, interviewing Arrut Navaraj at the Travelport Live conference in Bangkok last week. Siew Hoon Yeoh, founder of Web in Travel, interviewing Arrut Navaraj at the Travelport Live conference in Bangkok last week.

Food for thought

How many restaurateurs and hoteliers have actually met the farmers who provide the food they serve?

 

That was a question asked by one of the speakers at the Travelport Live conference at the Millennium Hilton Bangkok last week. Arrut Navaraj, managing director of Sampran Riverside, a complex that includes accommodation and a farmers’ market, is a keen promoter of organic tourism but says it is about more than conducting tours of farms. ‘In our version, it is about us working with the farmers, buying from them, understanding them and relating that back to our clients.’ He says there are some 20 million farmers in Thailand but very few people who live in large cities have actually met one of them. ‘We eat three times a day. It is so important. We have a personal doctor, hair dresser, dentist and many other things but we don’t know the people who supply our food.’

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