15:30 | 30/01/2014 Companies
(VEN) - Vietnam Economic News’ Thanh Minh spoke with Metro Cash & Carry Vietnam General Director Philippe Bacac.
Over 95 percent of goods distributed by Metro supermarkets are made-in-Vietnam products
Over 90 percent of goods which are on sale in Metro supermarkets are of Vietnamese origin. How will Metro further increase the percentage of domestic goods in the future?
Saying more exactly, over 95 percent of goods distributed by Metro supermarkets are made-in-Vietnam products. Producers have invested in improving not only the quality but also the appearance and packaging of products. Vietnamese products are not inferior to those imported from foreign countries in terms of quality and have competitive prices, so they have won the trust of a growing number of consumers. At Metro supermarkets, we have organized fairs to present Vietnamese goods and domestic suppliers. Events such as fairs organized to popularize VietGAP-certified seafood, fresh products, plastics and household utensils offered participating businesses a chance to advertise themselves and approach customers in a professional manner.
Could you share Metro’s plan to export Vietnamese products abroad?
Metro has for many years contributed to boosting the export of Vietnamese products to foreign markets. In the past, Vietnamese products exported by Metro mostly included seafood. Since late 2013, Metro Cash & Carry Vietnam has played the role of a brokerage firm to promote cooperation between domestic businesses and Metro Trade Office in Singapore in exporting Vietnamese agricultural products. In November 2013, the first consignment of thanh long (dragon fruit) was successfully exported to China, opening big opportunities for us to boost the export of fruit and vegetables for sale at Metro supermarkets in China and all over the world. In 2013, Metro spent over US$6 million to purchase Vietnamese agricultural products directly from domestic suppliers to provide for its supermarkets worldwide. Our projection is increasing the sum to US$12 million in 2014.
Food hygiene and safety is the top concern of consumers. What has Metro done to ensure the safety of food products distributed by its supermarkets?
Ensuring food hygiene and safety is very important and we always exert ourselves to ensure that we provide customers with the best quality products. We have organized training courses on quality for more than 20,000 farmers and fishermen. In addition, we have invested in building a refrigeration system with entrepots meeting HACCP standards. All Metro supermarkets have quality control clerks. We are implementing a public-private partnership project in cooperation with German and Vietnamese partners in the field of ensuring food hygiene and safety for the community. Under the project, we will provide suppliers, customers, students and Metro staff with training on the importance of food safety, the responsibility of each inpidual and how to choose, use and process food in a hygienic manner. We expect that about 25,000 customers and suppliers will join these training courses. Despite numerous challenges, we will continue to provide farmers, fishermen and production facilities with training on good agricultural practices to help them reduce post-harvest losses and improve product quality. We do this with the aim to control the quality of products and ensure their clear origin, hygiene and safety at all production stages.
What do you think of the potential of the Vietnamese distribution and retail market?
Statistics show that Vietnam’s population would increase by about 16 million from 2000 to 2020. This would open lots of opportunities for modern trade to develop. In 2008, Vietnam took the lead, even ahead of India, Russia and China, in terms of the attraction of modern trade. Although it did not stand among the top 30 markets in a list made by A.T Kearney in 2012, Vietnam remains a market full of potential./.