Organic mushroom grower finding stable customers
Nguyen Anh Vo, CEO of Nấm Xanh (Green Mushroom) Farm, has applied his school knowledge to find a stable consumption market.
|Nguyen Anh Vo, CEO of Nấm Xanh (Green Mushroom) Farm, the organic mushroom indoor cultivation farm in HCM City is happy with stable consumption market. — Photo danviet.vn|
The organic mushroom indoor cultivation farm in HCM City earns yearly revenue of VND800 million (US$34,200).
“The consumption market is what I'm most interested in, as the number of mushroom growing farms has increased over the recent years,” he said.
Vo was very fortunate that with his knowledge of economics gained from the University of Economics HCM City (UEH), he found regular customers.
Last October, the farm signed a contract with an enterprise to supply mushrooms after passing many product quality tests.
“I was very happy when I received the news. On the 20km journey back home, I cried like a child, because of the success after a year of work,” he said.
In 2018, Vo co-operated with two friends to set up Nấm Xanh Farm in Hoc Mon District, HCM City.
The farm was close to Hoc Mon wholesale market, so “finding output is not difficult, however, it is important to ask whether we accept the market prices offered by traders,” he said.
Realising that there were difficulties in transport goods, Vo decided to develop a warehouse in Di An District, Binh Duong Province.
Two months before transporting mushrooms to the new warehouse, he surveyed local wholesale and retail markets to introduce products, then listed them on the same route because all traders need to receive goods from 5-6am.
“I made a list of customers (name, phones, daily average amount of goods, offered price, delivery time), to help me keep close contact with customers and estimate the amount of goods shipped each day to the warehouse,” he said.
“I transport enough products every day, ensuring mushrooms are always fresh on the day.”
Every morning, at 5.20am, Vo drives a motorbike to deliver mushrooms to five markets with a total distance of 20km. The work ends at 6am.
Although the farm now has delivery staff in Binh Duong, he decided to still be responsible for daily delivery and two new employees are looking for customers under Vo’s guidance.
Vo also introduced products on websites, at e-commerce exchanges, and at supermarkets.
“There are many mushrooms producers, however most farmers only focus on cultivation techniques and are completely passive in the consumption market,” he said.
Nấm Xanh Farm is providing an average of 15 tonnes of mushrooms a month, mainly for HCM City, and some neighbouring regions.
Currently, it has two large farms, each covering 2,500 sq.m, in Hoc Mon District (HCM City) and Long An Province, that growing rice straw and oyster mushrooms and linh chi (Ganoderma lucidum) mushrooms.
Building a mushroom growing farm according to VietGAP standards to bring the best mushroom to consumers was a long-term goal of the farm, according to the CEO, Vo.
“Being directly involved in the production helps me save labour costs and manage product quality,” Vo said.
Nguyen Anh Vo, 30, was born in the central province of Quang Ngai. His family moved to HCM City to settle down.
Having a desire to do business, Vo established his own shoe company when he was a three-year student of UEH.
With the advantage of being an economics student, he had access to knowledge about online businesses when setting up the shoe company. However, in 2016, the young man received his first lesson in failure because of his inexperience in financial management. The company suffered a heavy loss.
"Bankrupt at the age of 25, I realised that if success comes too easily, we often don't appreciate it," Vo said.
The young man decided to enter a new field – agriculture – and set up an indoor organic mushroom cultivation business. In 2018, when the farm was set up, Vo started work at 5.30am and ended at 1am the following day.
Because Vo and his friends lacked techniques and the changing weather, 60 per cent of the first batch of mushrooms of Nấm Xanh Farm failed, causing VND600 million ($25,600) in damage.
Vo also plans to process products including canned mushrooms, shredded mushrooms, mushroom spring-rolls, and look for foreign markets. — VNS
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