BopInc and partners publishes: The process of innovation to create inclusive business

BoP Innovation Center (BoPInc) and partners (among others Fresh Studio) published the fifth and final publication of the series on the inclusive innovations process at the Base of the Pyramid (BoP), named ‘The process of innovation to create inclusive business’.

The publication ‘The process of innovation to create inclusive business’ is the final publication in the Three Pilots for Pro-Poor Innovation (3P4PPI) series and discusses experiences and insights gathered from implementation on market-driven pro-poor innovations in Bangladesh, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda and Vietnam.

One of the main challenges for companies, international organizations and NGOs who embark on creating new business opportunities in BoP markets, are optimizing the outcome of the innovation development and to cope with high level of uncertainty inherent in inclusive innovations.

The Three Pilots for Pro-Poor Innovation (3P4PPI) consortium has been able to test a BoP Innovation Cycle, which represents the iterative phases within the process of inclusive product and service innovation development. Developing innovation at the Base of the Pyramid requires a specific approach. The cycle goes from identifying opportunities to the actual implementation of it. Key business dimensions of a BoP venture are developed in each phase. The acquired knowledge is used to improve the BoP Innovation Cycle.

The publication is available through download on the BopInc website

Business recruitment for CBI – Food Ingredients Export Coaching Program

Fresh Studio collaborated with Vietnam Trade Promotion Agency (Vietrade) and the Center for the Promotion of Imports from Developing Countries (CBI) to recruit small and medium businesses to participate in the CBI Food Ingredients Export Coaching Program (ECP).

The goal of ECP in Vietnam is to promote and enhance the competitive position of value added food ingredient products from Vietnam for export to the EU market. The Vietnamese businesses selected for the ECP are trained and coached to formulate their export marketing strategies, adjust production processes, improve personnel capacity on the requirements of European markets, and establish business relationships with potential clients in Europe.

For effective recruitment, Fresh Studio consultants cooperated with Vietrade officials to search and select food ingredient businesses who meet ECP selection criteria. These potential ECP companies were then invited to attend the conference entitled “EU Export Coaching Program – Food Ingredients Vietnam” in Ho Chi Minh City last 20th December 2013. The conference was aimed to introduce the objectives, requirements ad stages of ECP to Vietnamese food ingredient businesses. Over 100 business representatives attended the event.

Currently, over 20 applications have been submitted. These applications will be reviewed and pre-selected by CBI for pre-auditing and auditing in order to gain insights into the companies’ current export strengthens and weaknesses. CBI will accordingly select the most suitable businesses for the next steps.Also 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:

Workshop: improving Pangasius’ market position in Europe

HCMC – As a module of its supporting project of VASEP, CBI requested the assistance of Fresh Studio to design and facilitate a workshop. The aim of the workshop was developing a brand strategy for pangasius to enter the European market.

Pangasius is one of the key commodities in Vietnam and contributes important to the Vietnam export sector both in total value as well as in global outreach. However, over the past years, the export of pangasius is suffering from a poor image (resulting in declining prices and decreasing revenues). In order to counter the negative perception, price and revenue spiral, the Vietnam pangasius sector has expressed the ambition to develop a sector wide promotion and brand strategy, mainly targeting the two export markets USA and Europe.

The Centre for the Promotion of Imports (CBI) contributes to sustainable economic development in developing countries through the expansion of export from these countries to the Netherlands and larger European Union.

In Vietnam, CBI is already active in supporting Vietnamese companies to strengthen their competitive capacity in various sectors.

Currently CBI is engaged in the Vietnam pangasius sector and in this closely collaborates with the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP).

Support of Fresh Studio
CBI requested the assistance of Fresh Studio to support the market position of Vietnamese pangasius in Europe. Fresh Studio has strong expertise and experience in (1) marketing and branding of agricultural foods and (2) aquaculture sector in Vietnam. Fresh Studio designed and facilitated a brand strategy workshop for VASEP, which was conducted in Ho Chi Minh City.

A very important outcome of the workshop was the understanding and precisely definition of the need of VASEP; the development of an end-consumption oriented communication strategy.Also interesting to read:

CBI and VIETRADE sign partnership agreement

HANOI – Fresh Studio’s client CBI has signed a partnership agreement with VIETRADE for its export coaching program. CBI promotes the export of products from developing countries to the EU market.

On Wednesday 17 September 2013, the Deputy director General of VIETRADE (Vietnam Trade Promotion Agency), Mr. Do Kim Lang, and Country Manager Vietnam of CBI (Centre for the Promotion of Imports from developing countries, agency of Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs), Mr. Koos van Eyk, signed a partnership agreement for CBI’s Export Coaching Program (ECP) on the food ingredient sector of Vietnam.

Export Coaching Program
The ECP is developed for ambitious entrepreneurs in countries as Vietnam. The aim of the program is to promote and enhance the competitive position of value added food ingredient products for export to the EU market. The programme is exclusively for small and medium size enterprises in Vietnam and helps companies to define an export marketing strategy, adjust processes and procedures, coach personnel on market requirement and create contacts with potential clients in Europe.

Audits Food Ingredient Companies
Fresh Studio recruited the first companies for the ECP program in the food ingredient sector in early 2013 and during August-September 2013 audited these companies to assess the potential to export their products to the EU market. Next step in the program will be the make an action plan per company after which the actual export capacity building will start.

More information
For more information about the export Programme please visit the CBI website or contact CBI through (Subject: ECP Food Ingredients Vietnam).Also interesting to read:

Fresh Studio co-founder of the Food Agri & Aqua Business Sector Committee (FAASC)

The agriculture sector plays a crucial role for the Vietnamese economy. To improve this sector, four leading agriculture companies took the initiative to form the Food, Agri and Aquaculture Business Sector committee (FAASC). The founding companies include de Heus, FrieslandCampina, Control Union and Fresh Studio.

The FAASC is formed under the direction of the European Chamber of Commerce in Vietnam (Eurocham). Since its start, the FAASC has grown to twelve members, among which Metro Cash & Carry Vietnam, Bureau Veritas, Bayer, Nestlé, Invivo labs, La Vie, Virbac and Yara. FAASC believes that the Food, Agri and Aqua Business sector can become stronger, more competitive and more high-tech without detrimental effects for the population, country and the environment. Contrary, in the long-term the sector could become more sustainable without necessarily increasing the costs.

The objective of FAASC is to improve the competitiveness of the Food, Agri and Aqua Business sector, by sharing knowledge and experience with the public sector and by sharing of best practices among the FAASC members in Vietnam. In order to reach this objective, FAASC:

  • Focuses on improvement of food safety for human-beings and animals trough a value chain approach;
  • Creates a level playing field for small, large, local and international companies regardless of legal entity, size and nationality, based on a common interest,
  • Creates a sustainable Food, Agri and Aqua Business sector in Vietnam for the long term and improves the sustainability of the sector.

FAASC event November 2013: Food Safety – Mission Possible?

For more information about FAASC, visit: Eurochamvn/FAASCAlso interesting to read:

Export coaching program in food ingredient sector of Vietnam

HCMC – Fresh Studio is assisting CBI to recruit ambitious manufacturers and exporters in the food ingredient sector who are eager to expand their export activities to Europe.

To inform companies about the program, explain in detail about the different modules of the program and to assist them with the application, Fresh Studio organized a two-day information booth in Ho Chi Minh City on January 24 and 25, 2013.

The CBI export coaching program consists of an initial business audit to assess the registered companies on their competence for the European market. After this an action plan is made for the selected companies. The next two modules focus on business development and export capacity building (how to meet European market demands, explore these markets and the development of an export strategy).

The certification module will give companies technical assistance with the process of certification, if needed, to gain access to the European market. Final modules of the program focus on the actual market entry in which companies are assisted to gain marketing experience, get in touch with business contacts, and participate in events such as trade fairs.

The deadline for the first round to apply for the Export Coaching Program for Food Ingredients in Vietnam is March 31, 2013. The program is due to start in September 2013. Applications are judged on a ‘first come first served’ basis.

CBI (Centre for the Promotion of Imports from developing countries) is an Agency of the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs. CBI was established in 1971 in order to support producers and exporters from developing countries to get a foothold in the Dutch market. In 1991 activities were expanded to the EU market. CBI encourages business support organizations in developing countries to improve their capabilities, and acts as ‘matchmakers’ between suppliers and buyers.Also interesting to read:

Fresh Studio investigates fruit sector of Cambodia

PHNOM PHEN – Siebe van Wijk and Jeroen Pasman recently returned from Cambodia, where they investigated the potential of the Cambodian fruit sector for exports within Asia and possibly to Europe.

To date, the Cambodian fruit sector has not been considered a viable proposition. Siebe and Jeroen found a vibrant domestic sector, relatively high domestic fruit prices, and several good quality domestically produced fruits, which certainly have potential for exports to Asia and Europe.Also interesting to read: