The Tiny Fish That Can Improve Health Globally [Q&A]

A chat with, Gavin Armstrong, the Founder and CEO of Lucky Iron Fish.

Mar 11, 2016


gavin armonstrong with lucky iron fish

Gavin Armstrong is the CEO and Founder and Lucky Iron Fish (The Ontarion)

Global public health is as much about finding simple, sustainable solutions to long-term, widespread problems as it is about curing disease. Gavin Armstrong understands this better than anyone. Armstrong is the Founder and CEO of Lucky Iron Fish, a social enterprise working to address iron deficiency with something both simple and sustainable – a little fish made of iron.

The Lucky Iron Fish is composed of natural ferrous iron molded into the shape of a fish (a symbol of luck in Cambodia, where the project began). The fish releases iron when boiled with water and lemon juice, providing 75 percent of a person’s daily iron intake - a significant feat considering iron deficiency is the most common and widespread nutritional disorder in the world.

In this week’s 10 Good Questions, Armstrong tells Goodnet about how his BCorp-certified company combines business and social consciousness to “put a fish in every pot.”

1. What is your organization’s mission?

It is our mission to improve the lives of our users in an impactful way. Iron deficiency is a preventable condition that can lead to anemia, weakness, impaired cognitive ability, compromised physical development in children, and increased risk of illness. Lucky Iron Fish can change that. As a simple, affordable, effective solution anyone can use, this little fish can provide an entire family with up to 90 percent of their daily iron intake for up to five years.

2. What makes you guys different from the rest?

We offer a unique, simple solution to combat the complex global problem of iron deficiency. We also have a commitment to embed social values in every aspect of our organization. So we are improving lives both with our end product, but also how we get it to the market.

3. What three words describe your organization?

Smart, Impactful, Change-maker.

lucky iron fish

Simply boiling the Lucky Iron Fish with water and lemon can help with iron deficiency 

4. What inspires you?

Striving to demonstrate that businesses can change the world and solve some of the most daunting challenges facing our planet.

5. Who's your favorite good doer figure?

Sir Richard Branson, founder of the Virgin Group. He sets the perfect example of how to combine business and humanitarianism.

6. What is the best part about your job?

Working with incredible people who are dedicated to changing the world and better our organization.

7. How do you measure success within your organization?

It’s our goal to put a fish in every pot, and when we go back and see the positive impact our little fish is having on the thousands of families who are using it, we feel accomplished and energized to keep growing!  

8. Facebook or Twitter?

Both Facebook and Twitter, plus Instagram.

Children holding lucky iron fish

Lucky Iron Fish was first distributed in Cambodia, where anemia is a significant public health problem

9. What do you want Goodnet users to know about your organization?

We operate with a Buy-One-Give-One model. For every fish we sell from our website, we will donate a free fish to a community in need around the world.

10. How can people get involved?

Buy a fish and share our product with everyone you know!

Mirele writes about everything related to doing good, with a particular interest in volunteering and social entrepreneurship, informed by her background in eco tourism.