My Tho - local businesses and the fascinating Mekong Delta river
My Tho, 17th of April 2017.
After the day off spent in the Ha Long Bay, the delegation arrived in My Tho, a small city in the Vietnamese Mekong Delta. On Monday morning, the exploreASEAN delegation headed to a Seafood processing company called Hung Vuong Corporation in My Tho, the capital of the Tien Giang province. It was where the explorers were received warmly in the presentation hall and where a brief company introduction was held. Following the presentation, the students moved from the presentation hall to the production facility to get a deeper insight into the actual processing of Seafood, or in that case, the processing of the “Panga fish”, as the locals call it. To get access to the processing zone, one was asked to dress in white uniform covering major parts of the body and face to avoid direct contact with the produce. “It is astonishing how many steps the same frozen fish we know from the grocery store has to go through. And this in only 20 minutes!” adds Kristiana Basic, one member of the exploreASEAN delegation. With the visit of the fish processing firm and the Đại Thành Seafoods fish farm later that morning, the delegation not only got an understanding of the fish processing supply chain, but also had the opportunity to see how processes are structured and how different the level of automation is compared to what we know in Europe.
Later this afternoon, the Vegetigi Tien Giang Vegetables and Fruits Joint-Stock Company was visited where the delegation had an interesting input session by Mr. Tran Huu Loi, its Sales Director, who shared his knowledge about the firm and the fruit industry in SEA with the explorers. “The prices of pineapples may fluctuate extremely due to the competition and the change in purchasing behavior of our clients”, Mr Loi points out.
On the following day, the exploreASEAN ensemble headed to the Mekong river to explore the Cai Be floating markets with exception of Nicole Stuber, a delegation member who got injured one day before on the way to fish farm. As one of the 3 floating markets in this area, the Cai Be floating market is the hotspot for trade among farmers and consumers. The floating market place’s existence leads back to former years when no bridges crossing the Mekong river were available and the local farmers had to find a way to trade their crop. In recent times, a number of grocery boats are in circulation to provide food for the tourists. Although it mainly serves as a tourist attraction and is a characteristic for the South of Vietnam, there is still a solid number of fishermen and farmers on their boats, observed trading their products around 4 am to 7 pm, however, the number of traders has decreased from year to year as infrastructure is improving. By having this cultural experience the explorers learnt more about another way of doing business. Follow our journey with our onsite blog and don`t forget to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+ and LinkedIn to learn more about exploreASEAN!