Reputation risk for clean and safe vegetables from Dalat

Dalat is an important region of high-quality vegetable production in Vietnam. The adaption of standardized methods and modern cultivation technologies by farmers in Dalat has led to the successful growth of clean and safe tomatoes, potatoes, and cabbages which are larger than the average size of vegetables. But is bigger always better?

Despite the successful growth of clean and safe vegetables, farmers and traders in Dalat encounter difficulties finding buyers for their production. Most Vietnamese consumers associate unusual large fruit and vegetables with products from China. Consumers are unable to distinguish high-quality vegetables from Dalat over Chinese vegetables, which lead to falsely accusing distributors of selling Chinese products.

This misconception of Vietnamese consumers is caused by the fact that a wide variety of Chinese produce (e.g. carrots, cabbage, potato, garlic, and ginger) is available in larger sizes compared to local produce and their quality and safety is often front-page news.

The suspiciousness of consumers creates a paradox for fresh food production form Dalat; the oversized products, produced by means of standardized methods and modern technology, are sold at lower prices than those of lower quality.

According to experts, the solution to this paradox is that Dalat high-tech produce growers should join forces to introduce these ‘giant’ products to consumers countrywide with the results that consumers will no longer mistake them for Chinese fruits and vegetables. “Growers should frequently launch programs to promote their products. It’s a pity that large Dutch-beef tomatoes are mistaken for Chinese tomatoes,” advised our representative of Fresh Studio in Dalat, adding that this proves that the promoting channels for Dalat produce should further improve.

This advice was supported by agriculture expert Le Huu Phan, who urged Dalat farmers to take immediate action to educate consumers across the country about their high-quality produce. “This should be done soon to prevent the reputation of Dalat vegetables from being damaged”.

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Fresh Studio consultants attended a CBI seminar on market intelligence and ICSR

For strengthening the partnership between CBI and Fresh Studio in implementation of export coaching programs (ECP) in Vietnam, two consultants of Fresh Studio attended a seminar on updated ICSR and the use of CBI market intelligence database from 28-29 January 2014 in the Hague, the Netherlands.

The seminar was organized by the center for the promotion of imports from developing countries (CBI), an agency of the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The seminar provided insights on how the CBI market intelligence database is used for EU market research. Moreover, the participating experts were updated on international corporate social responsibility (ICSR) standards that are required for businesses that have the ambition to export to EU markets.

More importantly, the participation of over 30 experts from 24 different developing counties across the globe from Asia to Africa provided good opportunities for the participating experts to update and share their experience in implementation of CBI programs in their own countries, and establish their networking for future information and experience exchanges.

This type of CBI seminar is an effective platform for the experts from developing economies to be updated on ICSR developments and sharing experiences on the implementation of CBI programs across sectors and countries.

Presentation CBI CSR training in the Hague: Open as PDF (5,21MB)

Potato trials planted in North Vietnam and the Central Highlands

As part of a project of NAK AGRO to strengthen the Vietnamese seed potato production sector Fresh Studio is carrying out potato trials in North Vietnam and in the Central Highlands of Vietnam.

Potato is an important crop in Vietnam of which the current annual demand is surpassing the annual produced volume. One reason for this is that the established seed potato production sector in Vietnam is not well-organized. This results in poor availability of good quality potato seeds for farmers, which in the end is limiting the current potato production potential in Vietnam.

Since 2011, NAK AGRO is implementing a project in order to strengthen the Vietnamese seed potato production sector. As part of this project local authorities are trained in the production and inspection of seed potatoes. To support these training activities and to identify potential potato varieties to produce in Vietnam, Fresh Studio is performing potato trials in North Vietnam and the Central Highlands of Vietnam. The potato varieties will be harvested in 2014.

Fresh Studio honoured as Best Innovative and Sustainable Company of the Year

The Belgium, Luxemburg and Dutch chambers of commerce in Vietnam, organized the joint BeNeLux Business Award on the 14th of March to encourage the development of local best practices, promote collaboration, and recognize the performance of companies and individuals.

Fresh Studio proudly received two Awards for “Best Innovative Company of the Year” and “Best Sustainable Company of the Year”. A five headed jury including the CEOs of DHL Vietnam, PriceWaterhouseCoopers and several professors from leading business schools, selected Fresh Studio as winners, with Philips and Akzo Nobel as runner-up’s in second place in respectively the “Best innovation” and “Best Sustainable” categories. The jury selected Fresh Studio because of its enormous contribution to make the agriculture sector in Vietnam more professional, more sustainable and more profitable.

During the award ceremony the Fresh Studio director stressed the importance of agriculture feeding the current 88 million Vietnamese, providing jobs for 60% of the population and playing a key role in the world market with products such as rice, coffee and fish. He further thanked the Fresh Studio clients, partners, staff and farmers, who have made it possible for Fresh Studio to make its contribution to the Vietnamese agriculture sector.

BeNeLux Business Awards 2014:

Best Company of the YearDe Heus
Best Start Up Company of the YearDobla and Vietnammm
Best Innovative Company of the YearFresh Studio
Best Sustainable Company of the YearFresh Studio
Best Manager of the Year (senior)Mr. Gabor FluitGeneral director De Heus

Fresh Studio’s recent developments:

  • Creating awareness for the future of Vietnamese markets in urban areas Tìm hiểu thêm
  • Improving the life of people in rural areas by value chain development Tìm hiểu thêm
  • Promoting and enhancing the competitive position of value added food ingredient products from Vietnam for export to the EU market Tìm hiểu thêm
  • Co-organizing Dairy Dialogue initiative to develop dairy zones in Vietnam Tìm hiểu thêm


Fresh Studio speech during opening of exhibition ‘Stories of markets’

With its history of establishment and special and unique culture, Hanoi was in the past named Kẻ Chợ. Markets exist, develop and change along the rhythm of life of the capital city.

Many markets in Hanoi now only exist in people’s memories as they have been turned into commercial centers or disappeared but markets are still present as part of the history and culture of Hanoi and are essential for each family.

The Exhibition “Stories of Markets” shared with visitors memories of old markets, real situation of present markets and expectations for future markets through archive photos and diverse and multi-dimensional voices from people, sellers and buyers. During the opening of exhibition ‘Stories of markets’Sigrid Wertheim-Heck, Director Marketing and Business Development Fresh Studio presented her perspective on the development of markets:

“First of all Fresh Studio would like to thank the Vietnamese Women’s Museum for the invitation for collaboration to jointly and with shared passion prepare this exhibition. 

My organization, Fresh Studio, has the mission to make safe and good foods available to consumers in Vietnam. With markets dominant in food, and in particular fresh food, distribution, we are pleased to be able to contribute to an exhibition that puts the past presence and future of markets center stage.

Living in Vietnam for over 7 years I have followed the developments of multiple markets. To me markets are like the soul of the city. Markets represent the Vietnamese love for food and the social cohesion in communities. It is at markets that not only daily foods are purchased, but also where people meet and greet and stories are shared. It is essentially within this meaning beyond economic transactions of goods and money, that markets are a unique retailing concept that can’t be compared with so called ‘modern’ supermarkets and convenience shops.

Indeed, markets face challenges in meeting the safety and hygiene requirements of modern times, but as this exhibition so beautifully demonstrates, markets are not static. They transform over time. Currently markets in Vietnam are on the crossroad for future development. When looking ahead it is important to appreciate their past and present meaning in everyday life.

We hope you all enjoy the exhibition and wish that it inspires the sharing of stories and thoughts on markets, ranging from childhood memories to contemporary anecdotes and suggestions for future development.

Thank you.”

+ Download speech in PDF (75,6 KB)


Source: Fresh Studio, Sigrid Wertheim-Heck

Language: English

Publication date: March 2014

Read more about the exhibition ‘Stories of Markets’:

Exhibition “Stories of Markets” at the Vietnamese Women’s Museum in Hanoi

Value Chain ‘travel workshop’ program for Cao Bang delegation

For local policy makers from Cao Bang province, Fresh Studio organized a program from Dalat to the Red River and urban Hanoi. This program, organized as a workshop aimed at value chain development and the specific role of policy makers in this matter.

With the aim of improving the life of people in rural areas, Lux Development supports the IFAD funded Developing Business with the Rural Poor (DBRP) program. This program assists local Cao Bang authorities in value chain development and their specific role therein. One of the objectives is to enable local authorities in taking an active role in the development of value chains for Cao Bang products targeting urban markets like Hanoi. This requires that local authorities understand the meaning of value chains.  In particular, when working with perishable products it will be vital to understand how and where in the chain the ‘added value’ can be created. Important points for consideration are:

  • How is the added value shared?
  • How is Quality Assurance arranged?
  • How is added value marketed to whom and by whom?
  • Who is the chain leader?

Fresh Studio was approach by LUX Development for assistance in strengthening the knowledge of value chain development and creating a deeper understanding of implications and organisations of value chains.

Building on extensive experience with value chain development in Vietnam, Fresh Studio organised a ‘travel workshop’ program focusing on strengthening the knowledge and understanding of Cao Bang policy makers on value chain development in a practical and structured way.

Traveling along a value chain from Dalat to the Red River Delta and urban Hanoi, from production to consumption practical examples were combined with background information. This enabled the participants to translate the lessons learned to their own Cao Bang development context.

The program was completed with a classroom workshop that specifically addressed the structure and organization of value chains. Moreover it enabled the active sharing of lessons learned and ideas in developing value chains for Cao Bang products.

Exhibition “Stories of Markets” at the Vietnamese Women’s Museum in Hanoi

The Exhibition starts from March 6th, 2014 at Vietnamese Women’s Museum, 36 Lý Thường Kiệt Street, Hoàn Kiếm District, Hanoi.

With its history of establishment and special and unique culture, Hanoi was in the past named Kẻ Chợ. Markets exist, develop and change along the rhythm of life of the capital city. Many markets in Hanoi now only exist in people’s memories as they have been turned into commercial centers or disappeared but markets are still present as part of the history and culture of Hanoi and are essential for each family.

The Exhibition “Stories of Markets” shares with you memories of old markets, real situation of present markets and expectations for future markets through archive photos and diverse and multi-dimensional voices from people, sellers and buyers.

In addition to visiting the Exhibition, you will have a chance to be back in a familiar space of a traditional market, feel free to buy clean agricultural produce or simply enjoy rural foods which are very simple but memorable.”


Noisy and animated atmosphere amidst the noises of sellers and buyers in a space full of familiar goods … It’s the market …

The Exhibition “Stories of Markets” is a gift from the Vietnamese Women’s Museum, to present to grandmothers, mothers and women on the occasion of the International Women’s Day, March 8th.

The Exhibition is jointly organized by Vietnamese Women’s MuseumHeathBridge and Fresh Studio.

Fresh Studio speech during the opening of exhibition ‘Stories of Markets’:


‘Markets – The souls of the city’


Study Tour: Dairy Sector of India

Fresh Studio organized for its client a study tour to India, the largest milk producer of the world. The aim of the tour was to investigate the dairy market of India in order to identify opportunities for development of the dairy sector in Vietnam.

India has a complex dairy sector where approximately 20% of the milk production is processed through the formal sector. Before 1970, India was a milk deficient country. Due to the largest dairy development program in the world – Operation Flood – it became world’s largest milk producer (both cow and buffalo milk). Despite the success of Operation Flood, the average milk production per cow is still one of the lowest in the world. Fresh Studio organized the study tour in order to learn from the experiences of Operation Flood and to investigate more recent developments in this emerging dairy market to discover opportunities for improving the Vietnamese dairy sector. Focus of the study tour was on contract model schemes, technical extension and access to finance for smallholder farmers.

The study tour visited AMUL; the key example (and model) of Operation Flood’s development. AMUL started as a village cooperative in 1945, but currently processes milk from 3.2 million farmers throughout India and is the largest dairy processor of Asia.

quote-iconThe study tour provided useful insights for the Vietnamese dairy sector.

Also processors with different contract models were visited in Gujarat, Haryana and Punjab. For example, in Punjab over 85% of milk is processed through formal channels. The farms are much larger and milk production per cow is much higher compared to other provinces in India.

Next to dairy processors, several governmental institutions that focus on extension to smallholder dairy farmers were visited in Gujarat, Punjab and Hyderabad.

The study tour provided useful insights for the Vietnamese dairy sector into different models of dairy processors, how smallholder farmers are technically as well as financially assisted to expand their business and how extension models can be applied in different situations.

Moc Chau vegetables gaining a strong foothold in Hanoi market

Over the past summer, vegetable production in the three farmer groups in Moc Chau supported by the project “Improved market engagement for counter-seasonal vegetable producers in North West Vietnam” has improved the quality and safety of vegetables for Hanoi consumers.

The quality of vegetables including tomatoes, beans and cabbage sold by Moc Chau farmers to retailers in Hanoi has tripled from 60 tons last year to nearly 180 tons this year.

43 farmers form 3 villages have increased their production area form just 4 hectares last year to 18 hectares this season and diversified their assortment of crops to improve their overall market offer.

Farmers also made investments in their farms of which the adoption of basic net-covered greenhouses is the most significant. After returning from a study trip to Da Lat this year, they expanded from just 3 net houses last year to 9 this year. This investment will enable farmers to grown higher value crops such as lettuces and broccoli during the lowland off season.


^ Moc Chau farmers putting up basic protective structures

Farmers in Moc Chau have been strongly supported by agronomists from the Northern Mountainous Agriculture and Forestry Science Institute (NOMAFSI), consulting firm Fresh Studio and Hanoi Agricultural University. These groups worked together offering technical support, organizing field days and market feedback sessions, and training farmers in record keeping and food safety regulations of Safe Vegetable Certification, VietGAP and METRO Requirement.

+ Download the complete article


Source: ACIAR in Vietnam magazine

Publication date: January 2014

This development is a result of the collaboration with project:

Creation of a value chain for vegetables in North Vietnam

Gain access to daily wholesale prices to support your business or research

Fresh Studio provides access to its daily vegetable wholesale prices collected from 2007 onwards. This database enables businesses and researchers to build a solid foundation to support benchmarks, business plans, value chain analyses and market research.

Since 2007, Fresh Studio collects the daily wholesale prices of over 40 different types of vegetables with different varieties and origins and from several markets in North Vietnam. 


The availability of these daily vegetable prices enables retailers, trade companies, distributors and researchers to optimize their benchmark and improve their (value chain) business intelligence.


Example: price setting
While vegetable wholesale prices may fluctuate quite significantly from day-to-day, modern sales channels frequently work with weekly vegetable prices. Access to vegetable wholesale prices enables them to anticipate on market prices and determine a competitive price point.


Example: vegetable market analysis

Vegetable price trends are not available online and more generic inflation indicators do not necessarily provide insights in (specific) vegetable price developments. Access to daily vegetable wholesale prices give researchers, business analysts and policy makers a solid foundation for evaluating price developments.




How to gain access?


1) Fresh Studio offers an annual subscription.

This subscription includes a monthly update of all vegetable wholesale prices (raw data) of the previous month:


Annual subscription



Price 2014



> 40 vegetables

350 USD



> 40 vegetables

300 USD



> 40 vegetables

250 USD


2) Fresh Studio offers historical data packages.

These packages contain all daily vegetable prices (raw data) for one year (01 January to 31 December):


Hỗ trợ




Price 2014




> 40 vegetables

400 USD




> 40 vegetables

400 USD




> 40 vegetables

400 USD




> 40 vegetables

400 USD




25 vegetables

250 USD




25 vegetables

250 USD




25 vegetables

125 USD For free**


*Price data only available from July 1, 2007 to December 31, 2007
**For free, if bought together with H-08 and H-09


Customized packages are available upon request. Do you want to subscribe or are you interested in more information about the wholesale price database? Please contact us