VinCommerce, the management and operator of the VinMart supermarket and VinMart+ minimart chains under Masan Group, is committed to supporting the northern province of Bac Giang’s agricultural products. Nguyen Thi Phuong, deputy general director of VinCommerce, explained to VIR’s Khanh Huong how this support from farms to customers is playing out.
|VinMart and VinMart+ stores are placing a focus on fruit and vegetable items originating from Bac Giang |
Bac Giang farmers are busy harvesting huge volumes of lychee. Being the largest-scale retail chain across the country, how does VinCommerce help farmers to market lychee and other agricultural products during the pandemic?
We committed with Bac Giang People Committee to purchase 2,000 tonnes of lychee to support local farmers. Previously, when Luc Ngan lychee was starting to be harvested, VinMart and VinMart+ purchasing departments dealt with local cooperatives and suppliers to sign contracts to buy Global-GAP-certified lychee and deliver it at all stores across the country since May 29.
In addition to directly buying lychee at 2,500 VinMart and VinMart+ across the country, customers can also do so through the e-commerce platform Lazada.
All of Bac Giang’s agricultural products are purchased, reserved, and packaged according to the strictest standards at VinMart’s warehouses to ensure freshness as much as possible. Delivering lychee on Lazada contributes to perfecting our business and promoting multi-channel distribution. This is also one of the safe purchasing ways in the complex movement of the pandemic to deliver fresh lychee of Bac Giang’s Luc Ngan and other fresh food/agricultural products of VinMart and VinMart+ to customers in safety.
In addition to lychees, we are still purchasing and selling a lot of other agricultural products from Bac Giang like white radish, squash, zucchini, pumpkins, spices, oranges, apples, and chicken.
All items coming from isolated areas are tested and disinfected carefully. Moreover, VinMart and VinMart+ has opened 15 testing centres with the most advanced technologies, which are checking all goods quality before delivering to shops and customers.
The shelves of VinMart/VinMart+ are always stacked with more than 90 per cent local items. So in addition to Bac Giang, we are working with all other localities across the country, as well as numerous local cooperatives and suppliers to collect the highest-quality agricultural products without delivery being interrupted by the health crisis. This is also the best way to stabilise the output of agricultural products and generate good income for farmers, local cooperatives, suppliers, and their business.
Can you explain more about the purchasing and selling price of lychee in particular?
In order to support the consumption of agricultural products in all localities and Bac Giang, especially during the latest wave of COVID-19, we are directly purchasing from gardens and farms to get the most fresh and delicious fruits, and deliver them to customers as soon as possible.
During this cooperation, we have built some very clear criteria and guidelines on purchasing agricultural products, and released a 5-step process to all suppliers to accelerate our “Premium Fresh” promise.
Besides this, VinMart and VinMart+ usually stage campaigns to promote the consumption of local products and enhance the brands and values of local products across the country.
At our chains of VinMart and VinMart+ across the country, the selling price of lychee was around VND26,900 ($1.17) only (discount price) on June 5-13. Lychee from Bac Giang are popular in VinMart and VinMart+ stores.
How do you evaluate the consumption of the local market?
With 50 per cent of the population of a working age, the local market is a promising land for agricultural products. Customers are paying more attention to the quality and origin of food and agricultural products. So improving quality of all local products to supply the home market is the most essential now.
For the long term, suppliers of agricultural products should be interested in the local market, instead of considering it as a backup solution if the exporting markets are shut down. Businesses should see the local market as having just as much potential as overseas ones.
In fact, in last year’s season, Bac Giang’s Luc Ngan lychee belonged to the top group of agricultural products obtaining highest revenues at VinCommerce’s chains, with total purchasing reaching more than 200 tonnes.