Organic produce at supermarket

Demand for organic products in Vietnam and abroad is growing giving Vietnam’s organic industry some return on investment.

According to a report from VnExpress, the Covid-19 pandemic has caused consumers to prioritise their health and healthy products, a trend Vietnam’s organic growers are capitalising on.

Nguyen Lam Vien, chairman of organic fresh and processed fruit producer Vinamit, told VnExpress 2020 is the year of organic farming in Vietnam thanks to Covid-19.

“Organic farming startups that began operations in 2018 and 2019 have reaped their rewards this year, with some reporting demand exceeding supply,” he said.

Although the market may have turned a corner, Nguyen Lam Vien said companies would not be able to make a quick profit out of organics.

'They need time to gain experience, raise money, and have a clear vision of the market,” Nguyen Lam Vien said.

One business which has committed the time to organics is Happy Vegi, founded by Nguyen Thi Quynh Vien in 2011. Happy Vegi started with a 0.5ha organic vegetable farm and after years of committing capital, it now has 21 outlets across Vietnam and has started to receive investment interest in the last two years.

'We are building two digital farming areas managed via smartphone applications. I believe that growing vegetables without using chemicals is profitable,” said Nguyen Thi Quynh Vien.

Seagull Agriculture Development Corp, which specialises in organic melons and squash, is another example of persistence. Chief executive of Tran Phong Lan said the company has invested nearly US$1.7m in organic farming since 2013 and more investment is on the cards.

'Growing organic products is hard, selling them is even harder. In the last three years I have spent US$1.7m to establish a distribution system and market the brand,” Tran said.