|Processing and packing green skin pomelos for export|
Deep processing key
Attending the seminar “Building a national brand for Vietnamese agricultural products” recently organized by Youth Newspaper, Mr. Tran Bao Minh, Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors of Nutifood Company shared the story of Ireland’s dairy industry. From a liter of milk costing only VND 10,000-30,000, Ireland has developed technology, and built a food industry ecosystem to create a lot of products that cost hundreds of thousands of VND. That is why cow farmers and participants in this value chain feel happy and always want to make the best dairy products to compete around the world.
The story of the Korean ginseng brand is similar. Korean ginseng costs only a few dollars, but Korea does not sell that ginseng root, creating an entire ecosystem for this product. Universities and research institutes continuously apply technology to create products from ginseng roots for children, the elderly, and beauty items. The state has prestigious ginseng showrooms that any visitor coming to Korea must also learn about Korean ginseng and buy products created from ginseng. Recommendations on the benefits of Korean ginseng are also constantly being released along with the promotion through movies.
From the two mentioned stories above, Mr. Tran Bao Minh emphasized that making a brand is not just about making products, putting labels on them and then exporting them, but also about building an industrial ecosystem to generate great profits. When all participants in the value chain get benefits and want to invest money, Vietnamese agricultural products will have a brand name.
Although there are no famous national brands such as Korean ginseng and Irish milk, in fact, some Vietnamese enterprises have built their own brands with an impression on the international market. The secret of enterprises also lies in deep processing technology to improve product value. Mr. Phan Minh Thong, General Director of Phuc Sinh Group, said that after discovering a large arabica coffee growing area in Son La, he contacted an American company to buy a machine line from Colombia and together with the engineers to build a large coffee processing factory here.
“After establishing the Blue Son La brand, the price of fresh coffee here from VND 6,500/kg was sometimes up to VND 15,000 /kg, producing about 400,000 tons. The selling price of Son La’s Arabica coffee is also much higher than Vietnam’s domestic coffees today,” said Thong. In order to do this, according to Mr. Thong, it is necessary to invest in a production and processing plant methodically and consistently as a brand.
Similarly, at TTC Group, besides the TTC Sugar brand, this enterprise also built the largest Cocoxim coconut water processing factory in Vietnam. As a result, Cocoxim coconut water is mainly used to make colored water with low value, 90% of Cocoxim’s canned coconut water products are exported to other countries.
Mr. Dang Van Thanh, Chairman of TTC Group, said that recently, TTC Group also made more coconut milk products and was positively received by the Muslim community – which does not use milk derived from animals.
Need a large raw material area
Coming from Thailand, a country with many similar products as Vietnam that has built a strong brand, Mr. Boonlap Watcharawanitchakul, Deputy General Director of C.P Vietnam Livestock Company, commented that Vietnam provides a lot of agricultural products and seafood for the world, but that is not a typical product that many other countries can also produce.
Accordingly, it is necessary to choose unique products to focus on promoting around the world. “If you have a different product, you must have quality standards and always raise the quality standard to a higher level for the world to accept and have a national marketing strategy,” said Mr. Boonlap Watcharawanitchakul.
Mr. Boonlap Watcharawanitchakul also pointed out that many areas in Vietnam have been able to produce shrimp with a large size of about 15 shrimp/kg, many countries have not been able to do this while the world demand is very high. Accordingly, strong communication is needed so that anyone who wants to enjoy large shrimp must come to Vietnam.
In the story of building a national brand for agricultural products, a problem raised by many experts and businesses is the organization of large-scale production to create a large number of raw materials, uniform in quality.
For example, in the rice industry, Mr. Vo Tong Xuan, a leading expert in this industry, pointed out that most businesses do not have a large area to cultivate, and if they want to have rice for export, they must mainly buy through traders. Even Vinafood is the strongest food company in Vietnam, but it does not have a raw material area. It was Mr. Ho Quang Cua who created the seed of ST25 rice o has not organized the planting in a large area to have homogeneous raw materials. In the success story of Blue Son La coffee, TTC Sugar, Cocoxim coconut water also shows the great role of large-scale production areas.
From that fact and a local perspective, Mr. Van Huu Hue, Deputy Director of the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development of Vinh Long province proposed that to build a national brand for agricultural products, all levels and industries need interested in creating conditions for farmers and businesses to establish specialized production areas according to high-quality standards. Implement linkages in the production and consumption of agricultural products in accordance with Decree 98 of the Government on policies to encourage the development of cooperation and association in the production and consumption of agricultural products.
Mr. Nguyen Nhu Cuong, Director of the Department of Crop Production, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, also acknowledged that the current small-scale production is difficult in building and developing brands for agricultural products. Accordingly, it is necessary to have a large production area, manage quality and build a product value chain.