An Hoa Cooperative is one of the five cooperative (1.) covering nearly 30 hectares of land, supported by Rikolto since 2018 through the project "Building a sustainable vegetable value chain for smallholders in Vinh Phuc". Throughout the project, cooperatives received training not only on integrated pest management (IPM), safe vegetable production and post-harvest processing, but also on organisational management, business orientation and market research.
PGS is really suitable for small producers! It’s a cost-effective quality control system that certifies all products in the field, while helping farmers to increase their responsibility and self-discipline. When complying with PGS, farmers reduce the use of toxic pesticides that affect the health of producers and consumers.
Farmers learned how to apply the Participatory Guarantee System (PGS) in the quality management of safe vegetables. During 3 years of its application, An Hoa Cooperative's products have always met the food hygiene and safety standards, enjoying good success on the market. The average output of the Cooperative has increased from 4-5 tonnes/day (in 2018) to 10-20 tonnes/day (2021) depending on the season, an increment reflected in farmers’ income. Farmers also diversified their product offering, meeting the demands of an increasing number of customers such as company canteens, processing companies, supermarkets and large traders in neighbouring provinces.
In the future, Rikolto, together with the Vinh Phuc Plantation & Plant Protection Department, will continue supporting farmers’ cooperatives in realising their business and production expansion goals, and State agencies in mobilising more companies and individuals in the implementation of the PGS system. The common goal? To build a safe and sustainable food system.