La Jaca

La Jaca: Do you enjoy food? Let's see an end to the waste of Jackfruit in India!

IndiaGold Coast, Australia
Year Founded:
2014
Organization type: 
hybrid
Project Stage:
Start-Up
Budget: 
$10,000 - $50,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

70% of all jackfruit is wasted in India, yet according to the World Food Programme – India’s home to 25% of all undernourished people in the world. La Jaca aims to elevate jackfruit and show how versatile and delicious jackfruit can be, via its jackfruit themed chain of social enterprise cafes.

WHAT IF - Inspiration: Write one sentence that describes a way that your project dares to ask, "WHAT IF?"

What if the the attitude of most Indian farmers towards jackfruit was changed by creating an external demand in the form of La Jaca social enterprise cafes from overseas countries such as Australia? Would 70% of jackfruit in India still go to waste?
About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

La Jaca will be a social enterprise cafe which is ‘the place to be'. Interior décor will feature jackfruit wood, and jackfruit will be the focus of the menu. There're many vegetarians in India, we aim to be the best speciality vegetarian café chain globally. We aim to promote this fruit and change the way it is viewed by Indians, it will also attract tourists who are after a ‘local’ dining experience. Once there's a buzz surrounding La Jaca, we'll aim to expand internationally - creating further demand. Profits will go back to sustainable projects to save jackfruit from waste for export and for use in La Jaca. Pulled jackfruit tacos are big in the US, and we will show the Indian public different ways jackfruit can be utilised.
Impact: How does it Work

Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.

As an example, once La Jaca cafes are trading, a relative of a rural Indian farmer (let’s call him Sachin) visits La Jaca in a major city such as Mumbai. Sachin is so impressed with his overall dining experience that he tells his relatives in rural India about La Jaca - a jackfruit themed café and is ‘the place to be’ in Mumbai. His relatives then contact La Jaca about becoming a supplier, La Jaca agrees because the café has suddenly become very popular and needs more stock. In time, La Jaca is full of locals and tourists alike who seem to enjoy this previously undervalued food source in India. Suddenly, the public perception of jackfruit has changed and it in greater demand, which sees an end to the jackfruit waste in India.

Impact: What is the impact of the work to date? Also describe the projected future impact for the coming years.

To date, 98% of customers who have recorded their feedback at La Jaca market stalls said they loved jackfruit. In our view, we received great reviews because we freshly prepared the fruit as a product which was ready to eat. La Jaca aims to take this idea one step further and open a café with jackfruit inspired décor and meals. We envisage customers in the future to give good feedback to others and promote La Jaca via social media. Despite only being 2 months old, La Jaca has had repeat customers at Emerald Lakes Gourmet Food Markets on the Gold Coast who enjoy the range of jackfruit products we have on offer. In fact, on occasions where La Jaca was not trading, patrons asked about La Jaca. In addition to making a profit, we aim to educate the wider global audience about the benefits of jackfruit in order to popularise jackfruit, which increases demand and ensures less wastage.

Spread Strategies: Moving forward, what are the main strategies for scaling impact?

La Jaca aims to grow its social enterprise café chain internationally. La Jaca aims to expand as a franchise once the previously established store is running and healthy. La Jaca may partner with Ben & Jerry’s to supply fresh jackfruit to create a new hit flavour of ice cream. For this, we’ll establish processing machinery in rural India. Jackfruit flavoured ice cream is already popular in Asia, and with this method we could sell such a product in La Jaca. We will also lobby for import of jackfruit to Australia. Can you imagine if there was a total reduction in jackfruit waste?
Sustainability

Financial Sustainability Plan: What is this solution’s plan to ensure financial sustainability?

Initially, capital investment will be sought to allow La Jaca’s ideas to fruition. La Jaca will then generate income from sales at each cafe. Priority will be given to establish a market and promote jackfruit and in subsequent years, it is hoped that the loan will be paid off in full. In years following, profits will be recycled into this project to further promote jackfruit internationally as an alternative food source, ideal for vegans.

Marketplace: Who else is addressing the problem outlined here? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?

Jackfruit365 & Global Village Fruit promote jackfruit using different jackfruit products. However, both differ from La Jaca in that they don’t offer a total dining experience with jackfruit décor and a jackfruit focused menu. However, both would make great partners with La Jaca and we’ll propose a collaboration in due time. Jackfruit 365 in particular, would be great to work with as they supply kitchens with jackfruit produce. We’ve been in contact with Shree Padre, who is an Indian journalist with a shared goal to reduce jackfruit wastage, this collaboration will ensure publicity of La Jaca.
Team

Founding Story

Julian Fang is a recent university graduate, during a volunteering trip in Cambodia, he tried jackfruit for the first time. Immediately, the taste captured him so much so that it quickly became his favourite fruit. In another university trip 6 months later – this time in Singapore, he rekindled his love for jackfruit again upon finding it at local hawker stalls. Coming back to Australia, he had a chance encounter with a lovely lady at a Brisbane farmer's market selling a lone jackfruit along with the rest of her produce. He bought the whole fruit and shared it with his partner, who also approved of the fruit. Upon further research, he found that approximately 70% of jackfruit is wasted in India and decided to take steps to change this.

Team

La Jaca currently has a full time founder, IT advisor (studying bachelor of IT) and financial advisor (Masters in accounting) and some part time volunteers. Mentors from Nanyang Univeristy to provide ideas and pose questions going forward. We are proud to partner with Shree Padre, an Indian journalist who shares the same goal to reduce jackfruit wastage. We will meet with Shree in India soon, where he will introduce chefs and pastry chefs.
About You
About You
First Name

Julian

Last Name

Fang

About Your Project
Organization Name
How long has your organization been operating?

Project
Organization Country

, QLD, Gold Coast

Country where this project is creating social impact

, TN

What awards or honors has the project received?
Funding: How is your project financial supported?

Friends and family, Individuals, Foundations, National government, Customers.

Supplemental
Sector

Waste and Packaging.

Audience: Who have you identified as your customer/recipient groups and do these groups value your solution for different reasons? How do you engage different customer/recipient groups to deliver your solution?

I envisage that my customer groups include a wide cross section of society. In India, many people consume jackfruit in major cities, the only problem is saving the jackfruit from going to waste in rural areas.
In Australia, I have currently started a market where I sell jackfruit to the wider public, and it is a relatively unknown fruit in many western countries. It is my goal to introduce jackfruit to the wider public - especially in western countries. Often people love the taste of the fruit!

Scaling the solution: How would the prize money and publicity help you to achieve your objectives over the next two years?

I'd love to start a social enterprise cafe and branch out into franchises worldwide. Jackfruit is incredibly versatile as it can be eaten fresh, in curries, salads, desserts or made into 'pulled pork'. Ideally, my first cafe would be located in tourist hubs such as Mumbai, where it will hopefully educate travellers on the amount of jackfruit waste. This cafe will be sustainable and I hope to make use of on site composting to reduce food waste, as well as implement an on site garden. I hope to spread awareness of this fruit to Australia by lobbying both Indian and Australian governments to allow the import of fresh jackfruit into Australia, in an effort to reduce wastage in India. Money will be spent on cold chain and processing solutions.

Experience: Please provide examples of any previous entrepreneurial initiatives you have pioneered

Managing a market stall Gold Coast markets called 'La Jaca', this stall encourages the public to try fresh jackfruit, as well as jackfruit chips. It is my intention to spread awareness of jackfruit, it's not found in the 2 major supermarket chains.
2013 Junior World Entrepreneurship forum in Singapore
Nanyang Technological University's 'Entrepreneurship and Innovation Asia' program. 2014 Impact Youth Social Enterprise Conference, Brisbane.

Are you are eligible to attend the Accelerator event in Cambridge and subsequent events in London, UK in January, 2015?

yes

Will you require a visa to enter the UK?

yes

Are you are a current Unilever employee?

randomness