Creation of a value chain for vegetables in North Vietnam

Urban consumers in North Vietnam encounter problems buying guaranteed safe vegetables especially during the hot and humid summer period in North Vietnam which starts in April and lasts until September.


Temperatures and humidity are too high in the Red River Delta plains to produce the required range of vegetables and there is limited supply of vegetables from Dalat from April to September. Therefore markets in North Vietnam are flooded with vegetables imported from China. This concerns consumers and government regulators due to questionable food safety standards.

The rapid urbanization in Northern Vietnam combined with consumer demand for high quality and guaranteed safe vegetables, the long distance from Dalat to Hanoi (1,400 km) and the influx of Chinese vegetable imports, provides an opportunity to develop regional supply of safe vegetables for urban markets in North Vietnam.


Since 2010 Fresh Studio has been cooperating with METRO Cash & Carry Vietnam in North Vietnam to:

  • Provide small holder vegetable farmers with a direct linkage to modern trade
  • Diminish the negative environmental impacts of the current unsustainable horticulture production systems
  • Offer urban consumers guaranteed high quality and safe vegetables for a wide range of vegetables in large volumes

To develop year round supply of guaranteed high quality and safe vegetables from North Vietnam, Fresh Studio clustered small holder vegetable farmers in the lowlands of the Red River Delta, as well as the poorer and more remote farmers located in the mountains in the North. Using the climatic advantage of the cooler mountains in North Vietnam, a regional solution has been developed to supplement the vegetable supply from the Red River Delta during the summer period. This resulted in the possibility for METRO and other retailers to source high quality and safe vegetables year round from North Vietnam.


At the end of the project, 6 farmer groups were developed, representing a total of 113 farmers across 3 sourcing areas: Dong Anh, Hai Duong and Moc Chau. All farmer groups achieved government food safety certification and were trained in the METRO Requirement standard. In addition to government certification 46 farmers received METRO Requirement certification. Out of the 36 vegetables selected as project assortment, 26 are now METRO Requirement certified.

Supply chain before intervention

  • Limited cooperation within the chain
  • Limited knowledge exchange between actors

Value chain after intervention

  • Good cooperation within the chain
  • Extensive knowledge exchange between actors

Recent developments in this project:

IT extension support system for agronomists and farmers

Fresh Studio launched the IT extension support system for agronomists and farmers. The pilot software has two main elements and is developed using the agile software development methodology. An online demonstration of the system is available soon.

1. Agriculture Helpdesk

Allows agronomists and farmers to digitally access information about pests and diseases, crop protection products, and other main agriculture practice documentation.


  • Access better farming techniques that ultimately will improve production of safe vegetables in quantity and quality.
  • Frequently asked questions (FAQ) built up, capturing tacit knowledge which will ease the work of agronomists in the future.
  • Able to provide targeted trainings based on the main FAQ.

2. Extension support
Allows agronomists to digitally report on visits to farmers. Currently reporting is done on paper with a number of unnecessary repetitions of work for agronomists and management.


  • Avoid double entry of work which allows agronomists to spend more time in the field and thus dedicate more time to advise farmers
  • Faster feedback looping to agronomists for better planning of visits to farmers and advice on actions to take for farmers
  • Faster feedback looping to farmers about on-farm implementation of Good Agricultural Practices (GAP)
  • Optimize computation and analysis of field visit reports

Project partners:


Hi-World is an IT software development company based in Hanoi, Vietnam. A team of programmers worked closely with the team of Fresh Studio on requirements, development and testing of both the web-based application as the mobile Android application which will be launched next month.


The BoP Innovation Center (BoPInc) accelerates the number and impact of inclusive innovations in low-income markets. Inclusive innovations serve the demand of the poor and create shared value for all stakeholders involved. BoPInc incubates these innovations, shares learnings and improves the enabling environment.
www.bopinc.orgAlso interesting to read:

Fresh Studio promotes Vietnam Dairy Dialogue initiative

HANOI – The dairy sector in Vietnam has developed progressively over the past decades with an annual increase of over 10% in terms of both milk production and herd size. In order to create a long-term sustainable development of the sector, innovative approaches and multidisciplinary joint-efforts are required.

Fresh Studio, on behalf of the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, organized the first dairy dialogue titled “Vietnam Dairy Sector Dialogue – towards sustainable farming development” on December 4 in Sofitel Plaza Hanoi. The event aimed to assemble all main actors of the Vietnamese dairy sector around the table in order to find common ground to work together on how to further increase the quantity of locally produced milk while giving full considerations to quality and sustainability issues. 

The dialogue attracted over 50 dairy actors ranging from milk processors, governmental departments and other key stakeholders as input providers and research institutions.

For sustainable development of the dairy sector in Vietnam, both Mr. Vu Van Tam, the Vice Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) and Mr. Joop Scheffers, Ambassador of the Netherlands in Vietnam, emphasized the importance of the Vietnamese dairy dialogue. These presentations were followed by two keynote speeches: an overview of the Vietnamese dairy sector by the deputy director of Livestock Department of MARD, and the challenges for sustainable dairy sector development by Fresh Studio’s Senior Agriculture Consultant, Vo Van Phong.


fresh-studio2Mapping the challenges for Sustainable Dairy Development in Vietnam
Speaker: Mr. Vo Van Phong
Fresh Studio
Download: English Tiếng Việt

This first dialogue has produced fruitful results. All attendants acknowledge the need for a regular Vietnam dairy platform to discuss the challenges stakeholders face when working on sustainable solutions. Therefore, an interim steering committee, led by MARD, and three technical working groups have been established with allocated members and preliminary tasks. The steering committee and the technical working groups will work together on the agreed topics during the next six month after which the second dialogue will be held. FrieslandCampina Vietnam has agreed to organize this second dairy dialogue in June 2014.


Also interesting to read:

CONFERENCE: CBI/Viettrade Export Coaching Programme

“Food ingredients Vietnam

Grand Hotel, No. 8 Đồng Khởi, District 1, Hồ Chí Minh City
8:00 AM – 12:00AM Friday, December 20, 2013

In order to promote and enhance the competitive position of value added food ingredient products from Vietnam  for export to the EU market, CBI/Viet trade and Fresh Studio present a conference on “ EU Export Coaching Programme – Food Ingredients Vietnam”

Experts from: CBI, MARD, Viettrade and Fresh Studio.
Topics include:
1. Current issues and challenges in exporting Vietnamese agricultural products to the EU.
2. Opportunities and challenges in exporting food ingredients from Vietnam to EU markets – Selecting the best market entry strategies.
3. CBI/Viet Trade export coaching programme for Vietnamese companies focusing on food ingredients including but not limited to coffee, cacao, tea, honey, spices, edible nuts,etc.
4. Direct EU export programme consultancy with Vietnamese companies.
To learn more about the programme and register for the conference, please download the below files. Registration is first come first serve. Please apply early!

Conference documentation:

Invitation letter: 

Download: Tiếng Việt

Participation form: 

Download: English Tiếng Việt

Conference agenda: 

Download: Tiếng Việt

Food ingredients brochure: 

Download: Tiếng Việt

For more information, please contact:


Contact: Mr. Hiển

Tel: 0965759686

Contact: Mr. Hải

Tel: 0912569596

Add: Tầng 7, số 20 Lý Thường Kiệt, Hà Nội
Tel: 04 39364792 (số lẻ: 111 hoặc 109); Fax: 04 39364793

Fresh Studio
Contact: Mr. Quang

Tel: 0908260114


This event is organized by:

logo-cbi logo-vietrade logo-4

Vegetable farmer extension program in Moc Chau yields encouraging results

MOC CHAU – Bringing vegetable farmers together, with different techniques and farming styles, and comparing their performance among each other, will lead to improved yields, higher quality produce and increasing farmers’ income.

The weekend before the conference ‘Supplying the market of tomorrow’, a delegation from the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR) participated in a farmers’ exchange meeting with three farmer groups in Moc Chau organized by the Northern Mountainous Agriculture and Forestry Research Institute (NOMAFSI), Hanoi University of Agriculture (HUA), Fruits and Vegetables Research Institute (FAVRI) and Fresh Studio.


With over 40 farmers present, the meeting focused on the three largest vegetable products supplied to Hanoi by the farmer groups during the past season: French beantomato, and white cabbage.





Farmer’s exchange meeting

Location: Tu Nhien, Moc Chau

Date: 18 November 2013

Download: English Tiếng Việt


Opening up
Ms. Vu Thi Phuong Thanh (agronomist, Fresh Studio) started the meeting by giving a general introduction comparing the production area, assortment and volumes of vegetables sold under the project in 2012 and 2013. Ms. Thanh shared that “the total production area increased more than four times: from four hectares in 2012 to eighteen hectares in 2013. Moreover, the total volume sold to Hanoi retailers by the three farmer groups reached 155 tons from May to October this year.”


Comparing farm performance
After the introduction presentation, the farmers were split into smaller discussion groups according to crops (French bean, tomato and white cabbage) they produced,

In each group, every farmer’s performance was discussed and compared within the group. This analysis was made possible through farmer record keeping which were encoded in the MonQi database – a software Fresh Studio uses in its extension program to analyze farmer performance and benchmark farmer’s performance with each other.


The comparisons were used to fuel the discussion among farmers to answer questions like “What caused the differences in yield?” and “Why one farmer earned more than the other?” Farmers were very eager to share with fellow farmers how they grow their crops and how they think other farmers can improve their crop performance.


Farmers have a lot of experience, but hardly compare actual figures of their own farm with other farmers. Putting them in a group to show them the performance of their own farm and how their farm compares to other farmers in the same group is very useful to learn from each other.


After the group sessions, FAVRI shared with the farmers the results of the post-harvest trials that they conducted. Transportation of vegetables by plastic crates proved to give the best results both on product quality and temperature management as compared to nylon bags and carton boxes.


The success of the 2013 season is yet another milestone in developing the vegetable sector of Moc Chau. The Moc Chau district is only a four-hour drive away from Hanoi making it an excellent regional alternative to supply temperate vegetables during the summer months of May to September.

Vietnam flower market scan and flower production visit

HCMC – Royalty Administration International and Fresh Studio executed a market scan of the flower market in HCMC and visited the flower production areas in Da Lat to determine which flower types and varieties are produced and sold in Vietnam.

The insights will be used to advise clients how to develop their products in the Vietnamese flower market.

In HCMC Royalty Administration International and Fresh Studio visited the largest flower wholesale markets (Ho Thi Ky, Dam Sen and Binh Dien), local flower shops and retailers selling flower to get a clear picture of the flower types and varieties sold through these sales channels. It is estimated that around 5 billion stems of flowers are consumed in Vietnam on a yearly basis and most flower are sold through flower stalls at the local markets and local flower shops. The main flower type sold in Vietnam is Chrysanthemum. Old varieties are still mainly sold, but there is an increasing demand in newer varieties with nicer colors and quality.

In Da Lat flower farmers and plant cutting propagators were visited. It is estimated that there is currently 2,000 hectares of greenhouse flower production surrounding Da Lat and this area is still expanding. Most farmers are obtaining their plant material from local propagators. These propagators use tissue culture techniques to produce the initial plant cuttings used for further multiplication. At farmer side and propagator side there is an increasing demand for better varieties, which have higher disease resistance, quality and production. For farmers and plant propagators it remains a challenge to have direct access to new flower varieties.

For more information contact Royalty International Administration or Fresh Studio.Also interesting to read: