Imagine a country with a horticultural background, plenty of labour available, over 95 million inhabitants for the local market and many more countries nearby willing to buy produce. On top of that, the financial position of the residents is growing, as is the awareness of the importance of food safety. All together, it's not difficult to see why many suppliers made their way to Vietnam and exhibited at the HortEx exposition in Ho Chi Minh City: the market has potential.
A serious crowd willing to enter the HortEx Vietnam
Vietnamese & international visitors
Last week, over 165 companies united in Ho Chi Minh City: local suppliers, focusing on the Vietnamese market, flower participants, since Vietnam has a vivid floriculture industry and exports to surrounding countries, and international suppliers, already active in the market and looking for local partners to set up a business with. During the exhibition they met up with many Vietnamese growers and international visitors from countries including China, Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia & Philippines. From Wednesday to Friday the show welcomed over 6,000 visitors, many of whom joined in for one of the informative sessions on growing or post-harvest as well.
Leo Leerdam grows orchids and, via PUM Netherlands, supports growers in the region. He dropped by with Thomas Ruiter & Menno Keppel (Agri Solutions Asia) and Ignacio Rodriguez & Jan Willem Lut of Sercom.
Amongst other greenhouse suppliers Novagric sees the opportunities in the Vietnamese market.
The potential of Vietnam is unmistakable, but there are challenges in the market. Since the average farm size in Vietnam is small and capital is often limited to growers, the investments focus on hardware being directly applicable, and a quick ROI: diffuse foils, better varieties & basic hydroponic production and irrigation systems. With the amount of labour being available (a lot!), automation is not a number 1 priority in the country. Companies offering these types of solutions have to show the added value of their product in terms of more uniform results & fewer human mistakes being made. This is expected to change within the next couple of years. Currently many growers sell their product directly to local markets or one of the growing supermarkets. With uniformity and the importance of food safety growing, it is expected that Vietnamese horticulture is to develop into a more mature & technical industry.
Next year the HortEx will take place from February 26-28.
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