To meet the growing demand for organic foods, retailers are scouring for producers and also planning to invest in organic agriculture themselves.
Vinamit Joint Stock Company has recently begun to sell a range of organic farm produce through Big C supermarkets.
Nguyễn Lâm Viên, general director of Vinamit, said this is part of their co-operation to promote sales of organic produce.
The company supplies 15 different vegetables, five to six fruit varieties and organic rice to six Big C supermarkets in HCM City now, but in future plans to distribute to all Big C stores in the country, he said.
It also plans to supply temperate vegetables and fruits and organic pork and chicken in future, he said.
Viên said the company also supplies some organic vegetables to Co.opmart under the Co.op Organic brand.
Vinamit sells a total of 300-500kg of vegetables a day. If demand increases, it plans to increase output accordingly, he said.
A Big C spokesperson said the supermarket also sells organic vegetables and fruits supplied by other distributors and the number of suppliers in the market is rising steeply.
“Big C would to like to tie up with producers who have international organic certificates.”
Last year, Saigon Co.op began distributing four groups of organic products meeting international standards – rice, vegetables, basa fish fillet and black tiger shrimp – under its Co.op Organic brand name in HCM City.
The company has a 300ha organic farm in Cà Mau Province whose produce is certified by the USDA, JAS of Japan and the EU.
Phạm Trung Kiên, deputy general director of Saigon Co.op, said there is great demand for organic products.
The entry of more players would make the market more competitive, and consumers would benefit, he said.
Saigon Co.op is looking for more suppliers, including overseas, to diversify supply, he said.
Đoàn Diệp Bình, head of PR and events at LOTTE Mart Vietnam, said: “Demand for organic products is expected to increase because demand for safe and high-quality food products is on the rise.
“Lotte Mart stores are selling many organic products, including OrgaGro organic rice. We plan to expand the list of organic items.”
A recent survey by the High Quality Vietnamese Product Business Association found that food safety continues to be a major concern for Vietnamese consumers and they are willing to pay for products that are good for their health.
Vũ Kim Hạnh, chairwoman of the association, said organic foods have become very popular in Việt Nam. A study of organic producers estimated the current market capacity at VNĐ3.5 trillion (US$153.5 million) a year.