Healthy foods with a conscience | Phytopia Ventures
Updated: May 18
Phytopia is a social enterprise based in Malaysia redefining healthy food by building a horizontally integrated supply chain. They handle the supply by partnering with small farmers, while the demand was created by their social café; Saladbar by Phytopia!
Mamato is on a mission to offer healthier food choices starting with his salad bar at the university campus that he works at.
Him and his team first started by approaching small farmers, working at oil palm plantations and as rubber tappers, to help supplement their income with hydroponic systems.
Phytopia Ventures then buys back the system to produce healthy salads for the campus community to consume.
Here is what the amazing Mamato has been doing since 2019:
There are four core values of Phytopia that Mamato commits himself to even as he goes through a stressful pandemic!
From empowering communities such as matching, training, and subsidising small farmers with more efficient and clean agriculture technology to #supportlokal where 90% of their raw materials are sourced locally, Phytopia is creating meaningful impact over time.
The Covid-19 padenmic was a rough time for everyone. The Malaysian Government Movement Control Order (Perintah Kawalan Pergerakan Kerajaan Malaysia)/MCO/PKP was a lockdown imposed by the Malaysian government to help curb the spread of Covid-19.
This unfortunately created problems in many forms such as putting the startup into survival mode. While Mamato did manage to navigate out of 2019 with his team, the pandemic did set his plans back by 1-2 years.
Despite that, Phytopia is still going strong:
What are some anticipated features of Interseed?
Mamato works full time as a lecturer, at Universiti Malaysia Kelantan, and tries his best to stay engaged with Phytopia Ventures's cafe during his lunch break and after work at 5pm till 8pm. At the side, he is working hard on his PhD and his thesis.
It is when he realised that being in the startup space isn't easy. To Mamato, what is missing in the impact-making space for founders is help beyond momentary means. Other aspects such as collaboration and mentorship are equally important as well since it is his first venture into sustainable food and beverages.
We are excited to soon launch the Interseed community impact platform to help impact-making founders grow their impact.
Similar to Jovie, Mamato was one of the 1,140 eager signups from 2020, who wanted to turn their passion for sustainability into impact, with our Young Sustainable Impact SEA program and we are amazed by how far he has come since then.
Let's take a little back at his YSI SEA days with us:
Here are some highlights of what they have done!
Despite Covid-19 slowing down our world, Mamato's burning passion hasn't deterred him from stopping. He has consistently been making progress and can't wait to open up another branch for his salad bar.