MM Mega Market focuses on supply chains to control quality

Wednesday, Dec 27, 2017 07:00

Mr. Phidsanu Pongwatana, MM Mega Market Vietnam Managing Director

Having a pork platform each in the south and north of Việt Nam and an export permit for local products were major steps forward for MM Mega Market Vietnam (MM) right in the first year it launched its new brand name in place of Metro Cash & Carry. At the recent launch ceremony of Thăng Long MM Mega Market in Hà Nội, Phidsanu Pongwatana, the company’s managing director, spoke about MM’s efforts connecting role in the past year to spur the growth of agricultural supply chains and to popularise Vietnamese goods outside the country.

In its maiden year MM Mega Market reportedly made proactive efforts to promote food supply chains. Could you share some specifics?

It has been clear to us that keeping food products clean and safe is the most important requirement in everything that MM offers consumers. To do that, we focus on nurturing food supply chains to maintain control of the entire process from farming until the products reach consumers.

To be specific, our pork platform in Đồng Nai is a partnership with LIFSAP (a World Bank animal husbandry and food safety competition project) and about 400 pig farming households, and complies with VietGAHP (Good Animal Husbandry Practice) standards. To raise the value of the final products to the maximum level possible, MM’s meat specialists and agricultural engineers regularly monitor and meet with the farmers to provide the best technical support. That helps us make sure that the pork going through MM systems consistently meets VietGAHP standards. Furthermore, we choose large, modern and reliable abattoirs to guarantee pork safety and freshness. MM is now selling around 250 tonnes of pork a month through its six southern stores.

With a similar model as in Đồng Nai, the northern pork platform is also an MM partnership with LIFSAP and local farmers to provide safe VietGAHP pork. In the next two months VietGAHP pork from this platform will be distributed by MM at our northern stores.

Does MM plan to set up a vegetable platform in northern Việt Nam like the one you have had for many years now in Đà Lạt?

We are looking for the right places to establish new source areas, the likes of Đà Lạt, in northern Việt Nam, possibly Mộc Châu or Hải Phòng.

Besides, MM is also working to double the vegetable and fruit throughput at Đà Lạt platform to about 24,000 tonnes a year. With an output of nearly 2,000 tons per annum, the Cần Thơ fish platform now covers over 70 per cent of the demand for fish products at the 19 MM stores.

We are confident that fostering food supply chains and connecting farmers with advanced distribution channels like MM’s will benefit all the parties involved – the farmers, consumers and MM.

Moreover, to provide easier traceability for product origin, MM has been expanding QR code application on all of our fresh food products. This December, we have also introduced new proprietary product lines, including the “We are fresh” vegetable brand, to our customers.

MM has just received an export license. Can you tell us more about that?

I’m delighted to say that MM has just received an export permit, which is a big deal for us in Việt Nam. This permit will allow us to ship more Vietnamese products to Thailand and other countries we have a presence in.

To fast-track the sales of Vietnamese-made products in other markets, we are not only providing support for domestic businesses to connect to Big C’s 700-plus-mall distribution system but also putting together pragmatic field trips for purchasing teams from Thailand. During these trips, we communicate about source areas, farming and production processes, quality control practices and so on to keep them updated on the available supply in Việt Nam.

With a mighty multinational corporation behind you, how can MM support Vietnamese businesses exporting to other countries?

As a versatile FDI business, we have experience and familiarity with many different nations. We are therefore in a good position to help small and medium-sized enterprises get market access through our distribution channels by providing them with the information available to us about industries, consumers’ wants and behaviours, applicable standards and related procedural and legal issues.

Just recently MM entered into a deal with the Việt Nam Retailers Association in Hà Nội to better support small and medium-sized enterprises and start-up businesses in both the production and distribution-retail sectors and help improve human resources quality in the local retail industry.

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