Food Safety – Mission Possible?

HCMC – Fresh Studio gave a presentation during a joint-event of the EuroCham Food Agri Aqua Business Sector Committee (FAASC) and the Royal Netherlands Embassy.

The recently established Food, Agri, Aqua Business sector committee (FAASC) under the European Chamber of Commerce (EuroCham) in Vietnam, organized in close cooperation with the Royal Netherlands Embassy a successful event titled: Food safety – Mission Possible?

Over 150 participants from both the private and public sector discussed how to improve food safety across the agriculture chain.

Public sector
The vision of the FAASC on this theme was presented by the director of De Heus, Mr. Gabor Fluit. In his presentation he emphasized the urgent need to develop a central agency in Vietnam for food safety control. Currently, food safety issues are managed by different agencies which belong to various ministries. This current structure makes it difficult to respond efficiently and quickly in times of emergency (e.g. food poisoning). Also, it limits export possibilities for local producers, since importing countries require high standards in this area. Mr. Ron Dwinger, a representative of the Dutch Food Netherlands Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority (NVWA), shared in his presentation the history and experiences in the Netherlands of developing a centralized food safety authority. This was a process of more than 30 years, in which different organizations were merged.

The presentation invoked a lot of questions and discussion from the various representatives from Vietnamese ministries and food safety control authorities.

Private sector
Presentations from the private sector showed what could be done in the field to improve food safety in agro-chains.

Siebe van Wijk, Managing Director of Fresh Studio, shared various experiences of Dutch public private sector funded projects, in which through cooperation between Vietnam and the Netherlands food safety was improved considerably.

In the final presentation, Mrs. Ina Enting of the Holland Pig Association presented a new initiative in which both the Vietnamese and Dutch public and private sector will cooperate closely to improve food safety in the Vietnamese pork sector.

For more information about FAASC: Fresh Studio Co-founder of FAASC or Eurochamvn/FAASC

Source: Eurocham Vietnam & Holland in VietnamAlso interesting to read:

Crossing continents: Business opportunities in Japan and Vietnam

AMSTERDAM – What are the opportunities for Dutch businesses in Japan and Vietnam? On what do you need to pay attention when entering these markets? Siebe van Wijk, shared Fresh Studio’s perspective on business opportunities in Vietnam during a seminar ‘Crossing Continents’. A seminar organized by Financieel Dagblad on the 5th of November in Amsterdam.

Vietnam is growing rapidly. Currently, Vietnam’s population reaches 90 million. The spending budget is low; approximately 20% of the population lives below the poverty line. However, due to almost 20 years of consecutive economic growth between 5-7% per year, more and more money is spent on higher value added products. This offers many opportunities for Dutch companies.

Since 2006 Fresh Studio has worked passionately to assist multinationals and domestic clients to improve all practices from farm to fork. Fresh Studio inspires their clients with refreshing insights into their sourcing, quality assurance and marketing opportunities. 

During the seminar, Rens de Jong, journalist of Business News Radio, interviewed Siebe van Wijk.

“What is the biggest challenge of doing business in Vietnam?”
Siebe: “For a consulting and R&D firm based in Vietnam and with many international clients, the main challenge is “the hunt for talent”. As a Fresh Studio consultant it is essential to add value to multinationals which are already operating in Vietnam. Therefore, only the most talented people are recruited to join the Fresh Studio team. Despite this challenge, we developed a multi-disciplinary and international. What started in 2006 with just 3 people has now become a firm with over 100 staff.”

“What makes Vietnam so interesting for a Dutch entrepreneur”
Siebe: “With around 90 million people, Vietnam’s domestic market is booming (the 14th largest nation in the world). Vietnam is strategically located in Asia: Vietnam borders with China, it takes only 2 days to ship products to mega cities such as Hong Kong and Singapore, and it is 5 days shipping from Japan. Furthermore, Vietnam is an active member of ASEAN. This is a kind of ‘EU for Southeast Asian nations’ with a joint market over 500 million consumers and tariffs for intra ASEAN trade of 0%. Finally, Vietnam is attractive for Dutch businesses, because in many sectors it is possible to have a 100% foreign-owned company. This is in contrast with many other Asian countries where foreign ownership of companies is restricted to percentages below 50%.”

Crossing continents; an exciting step to take!Also interesting to read:

Sharing experiences on value chain development and food safety: A successful conference

HANOI – Sharing experiences about supplying safe, healthy, and high value food in Vietnam requires cross-cutting partnerships and cooperation.

The conference attracted over 175 participants ranging from leading supermarket chains to farmers, fresh produce production companies to research institutes, and government agencies to financial institutions. The different actors discussed the future of safe and healthy food provision in Vietnam.

The morning program presented the different stages of sustainable agriculture development in Vietnam:

Click here for the presentations.

  • Vice-Minister of Agriculture, Mr. Dr. Le Quoc Doanh, highlighted the urgency of food safety for the Vietnamese government as well as the importance of stimulating rural development. He emphasized the value of international collaboration: “ With positive collaborations from foreign countries and international organizations in cultivation, production and post-harvest techniques, more and more Vietnamese farmers could access advanced technologies to improve the quality of agricultural products, towards safe, healthy and high value products.”
  • To develop sustainable food chains, the Dutch Ambassador in Vietnam, Mr. Joop Scheffers stated that: “The Netherlands is a leading country in agricultural technology and innovation. We have been working with Vietnam for already many years in many sectors like horticulture, fisheries, cocoa, coffee, livestock and dairy. We do so by working with farmers and providing them trainings, by linking farmers with processors and retailers, and by supporting government agencies in drafting relevant regulations.” However, as many Dutchmen would say, the Ambassador closed his key-note speech with: “a lot still needs to be done… To make it successful, your pro-active participation as a consumer, producer, trader, researcher or retailer continues to be essential.”
  • Market opportunities of vegetables were indicated by Fresh Studio’s Marketing Director, Sigrid Wertheim-Heck. She illustrated that the vegetable consumption in Hanoi accounts 50% of the total vegetable consumption in The Netherlands. Despite of this fact, she indicated that: “94% of Vietnamese consumers are concerned about safe vegetables; however, the share of vegetables sold with a food safety claim is currently less than 4% of the total vegetable consumption in Vietnam”. Furthermore, she presented that lower income groups have remained an untapped, though potential market for safe quality foods.
  • Dr. Nicolas Chevrollier, Programme Manager of BoP Innovation Centre, highlighted the importance of developing specific lower income (also indicated as Base of Pyramid (BoP)) strategies and the approach to develop them. He stated that “The global BoP market is US$ 5 trillion, of which US$ 2,895 billion is spent on food”.
  • Fresh Studio’s R&D Director, Mr. Rene van Rensen, presented how Fresh Studio developed a sourcing system for METRO Cash & Carry in North Vietnam. Within this project, Fresh Studio worked with six farmer groups and 110 farmers in three different agro-ecological zones, in order to supply over 30 different certified vegetables. The presentation ended with the honorary awarding of lead farmers for their pioneering work, as well as directors of the supermarket chains who supported the launch of the safe vegetables in their stores.
  • The success of the developed value chain for safe vegetables was further highlighted in the presentation of Mr. Philippe Bacac, CEO of METRO Cash & Carry Vietnam. With 19 large stores in Vietnam, 2 sourcing platforms, 100 dedicated cold trucks and 3,000 pallets cold storage space, Metro invested significantly in its supply chain.

Click here for the presentations.

The afternoon program included participatory ‘World Café’ discussions about Food safety and Health, Horticulture, Value Chain Development, Private Public Partnership, and Sourcing and Logistics. Perspectives of the different participants have led to fruitful and interesting discussions.

An exhibition and a marketplace with agro-food related demonstrations including IT innovations in agronomy, hydroponic lettuce cultivation and blind taste tests provided attendants with impressions of developments and activities within the agricultural sector.

The conference resulted in networking opportunities and creation of actionable and future oriented business ventures. interesting to read:

Conference: Supplying the market of tomorrow


Supplying the market of tomorrow

“Toward a Business Ecosystem:

Food Health Wealth”

At the Vietnamese Women’s Museum
Tuesday November 19, 2013

This conference took participants on a one-day journey into the future of safe, healthy and high value food in Vietnam, in the company of those creating it.

Participants in the conference included representatives of Vietnamese government, foreign embassies, NGOs, local and international companies, farmers, and consumers.

Conference presentations:

netherlands2Enabling Change: Future of Food in Vietnam
Speaker: H.E. Mr. Joop Scheffers
Ambassador of the Netherlands in Vietnam
Download: English Tiếng Việt
fresh-studio2Worriless enjoyment – Producing safe vegetables
Speaker: Mr. René van Rensen
Fresh Studio
Download: English Tiếng Việt
fresh-studio2Worriless enjoyment – Connecting farmers to urban markets
Speaker: Mrs. Sigrid Wertheim-Heck
Fresh Studio
Download: English Tiếng Việt
metro2Integrating vegetable smallholders into modern trade
Speaker: Mr. Philippe Oliver Bacac
METRO Cash & Carry Vietnam
Download: English Tiếng Việt
bopinc2Co-creating Business Opportunities
Speaker: Dr. Nicolas Chevrollier
BoP Innovation Center
Download: English Tiếng Việt

This event is organized by:

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Collaborating organizations include: 

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