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Introduction and summary of main results

Moustier P., Dao Thê Anh, Hoang Bang An, Vu Trong Binh, Figuié M., Nguyen Thi Tan Loc, Phan Thi Giac Tam. 2006. In : Moustier Paule (ed.), Dao Thê Anh (ed.), Hoang Bang An (ed.), Vu Trong Binh (ed.), Figuié Muriel (ed.), Nguyen Thi Tan Loc (ed.), Phan Thi Giac Tam (ed.). Supermarkets and the poor in Vietnam. Hanoi : MALICA, p. 6-25.

This study assesses conditions for an increased involvement of the poor in food value chains driven by supermarkets and other value-adding outlets. The trends of different distribution chains were analysed through the gathering of secondary data. Surveys on poor consumer's access to different retailing points were made in Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City and Moc Chau, as well as comparison of prices between the different points of sale in these cities. Four case studies investigated poor farmers and traders participation in distribution value chains: - Vegetables for Hanoi from Soc Son district and Moc Chau district; - Vegetables for Ho Chi Minh City from the outer urban area of Cu Chi district, and from Duc Trong and Don Duong districts in Lam Dong Province; - Litchi from Yen the district in Bac Giang province; - Flavoured rice from Hai Hau district in Nam Dinh province. In-depth interviews with stakeholders along the chains as well as a census of traders found: - The patterns of horizontal and vertical coordination that link the poor to the markets; - The distribution of costs and benefits between the farmers and the traders along the chains; - The respective advantages and drawbacks involved in supplying different types of outlets; - The employment implications of the different chains. Markets and street vendors are still the major players in food distribution if you consider quantities sold, areas of sale, and employment. Yet supermarket numbers are increasing as a result of incentives from government that promote ideals of food safety and modernisation - in stark contrast to their negative response to street vending and informal markets. Street vending and markets generate more employment by volume of business than supermarkets, particularly for the poor. They are also the main points of sale for poor consumers who rarely purchase in supermarkets because of the higher prices and inconvenient locations. This situation may change if prices in supermarkets decrease, which has already happened in the high-turnover super-markets in Ho Chi Minh City. Poor farmers have no direct access to super-markets because of safety restrictions (for vegetables) and quantity and conditions of delivery (for all products) - however there are opportunities to be indirect suppliers of supermarkets by joining (or contracting with) farmer associations that already contracted to supply supermarkets. Ten farmer associations trading as commercial shareholding entities are regular suppliers of supermarkets for selected products. Some have poor farmers as members - for example, a vegetable cooperative in outer urban Ho Chi Minh City and the Flavoured Rice Association in Hai Hau. Their ability to supply supermarkets is related to the combination of benefits they are able to provide to their members through public and NGO support -such as technical training (e.g. for safe vegetable production), input supply, collective marketing, quality control and credit supply. Supermarkets supplied by farmer associations usually increase incomes of farmers when they are compared with conventional value-chains. - 42% increase for the litchi and rice chains to Hanoi; - 25% for Soc Son vegetable farmers to Hanoi; - 400% for water convolvulus to Ho Chi Minh City. Farmers are grateful for the stable prices and the larger quantities purchased by supermarkets compared to their usual distribution network, however these factors may change with the increased supermarket competition. Shops represent an alternative outlet for farmer associations having similar advantages as supermarkets but with fewer restrictions. Small-scale suppliers can get more added-value by endorsing farmer associations that offer improved quality assurance via training and credit programs. (Résumé d'auteur)

Thématique : Commerce, commercialisation et distribution

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