When life gave him lemons, Pham Van Giang made lemonade. Only, in this case, he did it with lychees. Born into a farming family in Hai Duong, a province in northern Vietnam famed for producing the sweet red berry, Pham saw his livelihood threatened when the pandemic broke out. With his usual supply chains disrupted, he turned to Lazada to ensure the fruits of his labour could still reach hungry consumers.
As a proud member of Vietnam’s farming sector, Pham has always looked for ways to help agriculture grow and flourish with the times. To elevate the quality and status of locally harvested fruit, he spent close to two decades developing a large-scale lychee-growing model in his hometown of Thanh Son and encouraged more than 70 households to follow Global G.A.P. guidelines, a trademark set of standards for good agricultural practices. These efforts have resulted in lychees that are plump, luscious and completely clean of pesticide residue.
Hai Duong lychees have been loved by both local and overseas consumers, and the pandemic gave farmers like Pham a chance to explore and expand even further in the domestic market. In May, Pham joined an initiative between Lazada Vietnam, the Vietnam Trade Promotion Agency, the Hai Duong Industry and Trade Department and the Hai Duong Agriculture & Rural Development Department to bring his home province’s agricultural specialities to shoppers across the country via eCommerce.
As part of the National Trade Promotion programme, the initiative aims to spotlight farm-fresh produce from Vietnam’s rural areas and also accelerate the digitalisation of the agricultural sector to ensure its long-term growth.
“Going online is not a short-term decision but part of a long-term strategy, and COVID-19 has accelerated this,” said Mai Xuan Thin, the founder and CEO of Red Dragon, a supplier who helped Pham and many other local farmers take part in Lazada’s initiative.
The initiative marked Red Dragon’s first time using a B2C eCommerce platform, and the results proved sweet, thanks to Lazada’s robust infrastructure, which allowed the platform to transport and deliver fresh lychees from the farms in Hai Duong to customers within 24 hours of harvesting.
Close to half a ton of Hai Duong lychees were sold within the first four hours of them being made available on Lazada, with some orders reaching customers in less than an hour.
Mai said that eCommerce has opened new opportunities for Red Dragon and the farmers it represents. “We will continue to bring more Vietnamese agricultural products to Lazada so that domestic consumers can enjoy locally grown yet world-class fruits in the fastest and most convenient way possible,” he said.
“In just a few days of our soft launch of the lychee products on Lazada, we have seen very encouraging results,” said James Dong, the CEO of Lazada Vietnam.
The fruit’s popularity on the eCommerce platform has boosted income for local farmers. Following the success in Hai Duong, Lazada launched a similar initiative last month to support farmers in Bac Giang, another Vietnamese province known for its lychees.
“Leveraging the technology and logistics capabilities and infrastructure that we have, we offer businesses pivoting online during this pandemic advanced digital solutions and services, as well as access to customers and a network that they did not have before,” Dong said. “This is a great start to what we hope will be a long-term collaboration for all the parties involved in this endeavour to delight Vietnamese consumers with delicious, fresh and healthy produce, and boost businesses for local brands and sellers that will help in the overall digitalization of the Vietnamese economy.”
Featured image above: Pham Van Giang tends to his lychee plants in Hai Duong province.
Linh Chi Nguyen is a senior manager in Lazada Vietnam’s public relations team, which is responsible for corporate communications and media relations.
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