Good Food for Cities

Increasing the access to safe veggies

June 22, 2021
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According to the results of research on social concerns for households in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City conducted from April 2019, food safety is the top consumer concern. Vietnamese consumers are increasingly interested in quality food with safety standards, such as organic and safe vegetables.

Meanwhile, in urban areas where low-income people live, there are only a few (2-3%) stalls selling safe vegetables (according to the Assessment Report on the consumption of vegetables and fruits in Vietnam by Rikolto and CIAT in July 2020). Consumers mainly buy vegetables and fruits at temporary markets and informal markets in their areas. The number of vegetables sold in places selling safe vegetables is also very limited because consumers have not developed the habit of purchasing vegetables of clear origin and are unsure about the safety of the source. Furthermore, the price difference between safe and regular vegetables is a big gap that makes it difficult for people, particularly those with low incomes, to obtain safe vegetables.

To help low-income people increase their access to safe vegetables, Rikolto's Project "Increasing fruits and vegetables intake for low-income populations in Vietnam through food system innovations" (FVN) has researched and developed an initiative to assist small businesses in urban areas with low-income people in selling safe vegetables. This initiative is the result of a series of co-creation workshops with the participation of consumers and small retailers in the project area.

According to the initiative, Rikolto supported to connect and collect the safe vegetable sellers with – Dang Xa Cooperative, a farmer organization producing safe vegetables in Dang Xa Commune, Gia Lam District, Hanoi to provide a guaranteed source. Dang Xa Cooperative has been using PGS Quality Management System to build a safe vegetable value chain with the support of Rikolto since 2018. The sellers will collaborate to collect vegetables at a location to reduce transportation costs. Besides that, the project also supports the sellers with some necessary equipment such as safe veggies signboards, shelves, lanyards, etc. as well as guiding on a program of discount cards for safe vegetables to support affordability for low-income people.

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