Fresh Studio to speak at the Asiafruit Congress in Hong Kong

HONG KONG – Siebe van Wijk, one of Fresh Studio’s managing partners has been invited to speak during the Asia Fruit Congress, which will take place from the 10th till the 12th of September in Hong Kong.

Siebe will offer his insights on Vietnam’s burgeoning fresh produce business to an audience of about 600 key decision makers of the Fresh Produce Industry. The Asiafruit Congress takes place at the Hong Kong Convention & Exhibition Centre, alongside Asiafruit Logistica, Asia’s only fresh produce trade show.

The conference will run over three mornings on 10-12 September 2008, with the exhibition opening each afternoon. For more information visit:

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Successful avocado information event organized in Dak Lak Province

DAK LAK – A special DAKADO information day (D-Day) was organized, to share the experiences of the DAKADO project with the main stakeholders of the avocado sector.

About 100 people participated in the event which was covered by several national and regional TV stations and newspapers. During the seminar, presentations described how the DAKADO brand was created, and how the DAKADO value chain was formed. Technical presentations and discussions about avocado cultivation practices and post-harvest operational procedures were also made. To promote the use of avocado in Buon Ma Thuot city, the capital of Dak Lak Province, an avocado cooking competition was organized in which hotel and restaurant chefs participated.

For many participants in the seminar it was the first time they had seen and taste avocado as used in salads or as the main ingredient for a sauce. To date, most Vietnamese consume avocados only in milk shakes.

For more information about the DAKADO project please visit the project website:

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Training farmers in the METRO Requirement standard

DALAT – Fresh Studio has given the first out of 20 training workshops to introduce the METRO Requirement standard to about 500 vegetable farmers in Lam Dong Province, Vietnam.

The METRO Requirement standard was developed by Fresh Studio within the framework of a project with Metro Cash & Carry Vietnam. To assure the quality of its vegetables, Metro Cash & Carry has invested in a state-of-the-art distribution center in Dalat, and in a direct farm sourcing program. To assure quality and basic food safety, Fresh Studio developed the METRO Requirement standard in such a way that after intensive coaching, Vietnamese smallholders will be able to meet this standard. After a first introduction about METRO Requirement to about 500 farmers, a smaller group of farmers were selected to become dedicated long term suppliers for METRO. Through an intensive extension program, these farmers will be assisted to fulfill the METRO Requirement. This long-term investment should result in a growing market share for METRO Cash & Carry in the domestic vegetable market, so that it can add an increasing number of farmers to its program.

During the training workshop, Ms. Mathilde Thuy of Metro Cash & Carry elaborated on Metro’s activities and the project in Lam Dong Province. After this, Fresh Studio’s Uyen Nguyen explained to farmers in an interactive workshop, what the requirements for the Metro GAP system are. After a presentation on food safety hazards during daily activities (such as spraying pesticide application), the farmers were challenged to use their own experience and knowledge to carry out a risk assessment.

After the workshop all farmers received a workshop participation certificate and a gift box. Using the gift box, farmers could immediately start implementing lessons from the workshop. The box contained, among other items, soap bars to remind farmers about hygiene lessons from their training – hands must be kept clean to prevent micro-biological contamination of fresh vegetables. The box itself can also be used to store pesticides securely.