Title : The Impacts of Supermarkets on Local Fruit and Vegetable Farmers in Vietnam: Opportunities and Obstacles for Small-scale Farmers
This study aims to examine the effect of supermarket channels on fruit and vegetable farmers’ markets in Vietnam. Vietnamese fruit and vegetable farmers are currently building ties with and adapting to potential competition from supermarkets. This research aims to identify the best solutions to allow small-scale farmers access to modern channels. The existing data reveals that fruit and vegetable farmers in Vietnam can be divided into three main groups: (1) peri-urban and industrial-zone farmers, (2) rotational-cultivation-area farmers and (3) smallholders with average farm size of 36 m2 or smaller (PROMOCEN & VIETRADE 2008). Group 1 farmers produce fruits and vegetables generally to supply the urban market, where supermarkets are increasingly present and popular. Urban consumers in Vietnam tend to shop in supermarkets for high-quality fruits and vegetables because of rising food safety concerns. In addition, farmers in this group have land use restrictions because of urbanisation. Therefore, these farmers have changed their focus to producing high-quality products to capitalise on this change in consumer mood. Group 2 farmers have farms of larger size and more marketplaces than do farmers in Group 1. Group 2 is the main group of farmers that supply fruits and vegetables to the entire country; their produce is sold to urban and rural markets, depending on the physical proximity of the farm to the type of market. Group 2 farmers often become members of farmers’ cooperatives as a means of improving their market systems beyond supermarket development. There are three types of cooperatives in which such farmers participate. This paper discusses these cooperatives in detail. Group 3 farmers have the smallest share of the fruit and vegetable market in Vietnam. They generally produce fruits and vegetables for self-consumption and sell a modestly proportion of their produce in local markets. Thus, the supermarket revolution in Vietnam is not likely to affect their business.