WAGENINGEN – During the 9th WICANEM conference in the Netherlands, Fresh Studio’s marketing director, Sigrid Wertheim, presented a paper titled: “Avocados in Vietnam: value chain development beyond donor support”. This conference brought approximately 200 participants from the world of science and business to share experiences.
This is the abstract of Sigrid’s paper (with authors: S.C.O Wertheim-Heck, P. Quaedackers, N.T. Anh and M.S. Van Wijk): Numerous initiatives have been implemented by international donors in Vietnam, aiming for elevation of rural communities out of poverty, predominantly focusing on farmers. Unfortunately many of the initiatives have experienced difficulty in realizing sustainable businesses.
This paper describes how the development of an avocado value chain in Vietnam became an engine for rural growth, which was sustained beyond donor support.
It describes a VC development approach in which: (1) the focus was on the domestic market of Vietnam, (2) the lead firm was not a MNC, but a small local trader, (3) the commodity chain involved new product introduction which required demand creation, where the retail sector did not act as chain integrator, (4) and choices were made which preferred long term sustainable business-building rather than short term all-inclusiveness, and significant income gains.
Ingredients for success have been: participatory chain analysis, focus beyond farmers, participatory stakeholder selection, incorporation of consumers, and a step-by-step approach with achievable goals and small pilots.
For those interested in reading the whole paper, please contact Fresh Studio.Also interesting to read: