Prime Minister Rutte and Minister Dijksma visiting Vietnam

The Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte came for a visit to Vietnam on the 16th  and 17th  June 2014. He was accompanied by Minister for Agriculture Sharon Dijksma and a large Dutch business delegation. A key milestone of the visit was the signing of a Strategic Partnership Agreement on agriculture and food security between the Netherlands and Vietnam.

Minister Sharon Dijksma attended the Forum on Horticultural Cooperation and Development together with the Dutch business delegation. During the Forum, Fresh Studio Director of Marketing and Business Development, Sigrid Wertheim-Heck, delivered a presentation entitled ‘Supplying the market of Tomorrow’ with insights on Vietnam’s horticulture.

fresh-studio2‘Supplying the market of Tomorrow’
Speaker: Ms. Sigrid Wertheim-Heck
Fresh Studio
Download: English Tiếng Việt

Vietnam is challenged by major climate change issues, dependency on imported horticultural products during off season, concerns about food safety due to agro-chemical residue, micro-nutrition deficiencies, and the low level of technology in horticulture which results in unsustainable development. However, there are opportunities yet to be realized including a very large domestic market (90 million people), diversified climate conditions of production areas, and farmers’ willingness to adapt as long as they have access to technologies, training and finance. Vietnam is already an agriculture powerhouse for a large range of commodities, being in the top 3 of largest exporters in the world for products such as coffee, rice, seafood, cashew nuts, pepper etc. With the Vietnamese entrepreneurial spirit this can also be achieved in horticulture.

A consortium consisting out of Koppert, Rijk Zwaan, BVB Substrates, Svenson, Priva, Yara, Rabobank, Wageningen UR and coordinated by Fresh Studio, have brought their resources together to speed up the ambition of Vietnam to become a key supplier of fresh produce for urban Asia. The consortium will implement an innovative greenhouse development program in the Central Highlands of Vietnam. Supported by the Transition Facilty of the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs, the consortium aims to accelerate the adoption of basic climate controlled plastic greenhouses by local farmers. By offering local farmers all knowledge, technologies, financing through local banks, and linkages to the market, an important step is made to make the 30,000 hectare vegetable production in the Central Highlands more productive and more sustainable.


^ Visiting modern supermarkets during the tour organized by Fresh Studio

As part of the visit programme, Fresh Studio coordinated a tour to modern supermarkets and traditional wet markets for the Dutch delegation. The tour provided the delegates with real life experience of Vietnamese urban retail and wholesale channels and an understanding of the retail modernization process.