The leading international wholesaler Metro Cash & Carry continues improving quality of life in Vietnam by ensuring food safety along the complete supply chain.
“Metro Cash & Carry Vietnam has contributed to the development of modern trade infrastructure in Vietnam through establishing sustainable supply chains, linking producers and suppliers to the markets. Our efforts have been acknowledged by biggest awards on the implementation of sustainable supply chains in 2011 and 2012. Instead of many challenges, the company will continue to invest into providing training courses on good agricultural practices to farmers, fishmen, and improving local producers’ quality. Our ultimate goal is to ensure hygiene and food safety “from farm to fork”,” Bacac said.
As part of the company’s commitment to ensuring food safety, the company has just launched a nation-wide health offensive. With a demonstration mobile kitchen made from a container, the company is touring the country to train its customers and suppliers in the responsible and hygienic handling of food.
“We will be travelling across the country with the demonstration facility and will stay in each wholesale store for two weeks. We expect some 30,000 customers and suppliers to participate in short and free hygiene training sessions,” explained Bacac.
Metro is able to guarantee the quality and safety of the food sold in its own stores. “In order to secure the integrity and hygiene of the complete supply chain, we need to go an extra step to provide our customers in the catering sector with more knowledge of processing food hygienically and safely,” said Bacac. “This is part of a 20 month project called “HEALTHY” aiming to improve public health that Metro Cash & Carry Vietnam, in cooperation with the German Investment and Development Corporation and a non-profit organisation launched several months ago.”
In addition to Metro’s customers and suppliers, the project also targets the company’s employees and students. “To ensure food safety from the very first moment, we also train students from vocational schools with regard to international quality standards and expectations. Our employees, too, are regularly trained on aspects like hygiene, food safety and quality assurance,” Bacac.
By sensitising its customers from the hotel and restaurant industry for a hygienic processing of food, the wholesale company ultimately also aims at improving public health: “When our customers know, for example, that they should clean their cutting boards and other kitchen utensils after handling raw meat, this ultimately also benefits the customers who frequent their restaurant. With our trainings, we would like to contribute to raising the significance of food safety in Vietnam and reducing the circulation of pathogenic germs”, says Bacac. “We would like to play a greater role in promoting a healthy society.”
The trainings are well received by Metro’s customers. “We understand that keeping the food preparation space clean is vital, but through practical training sessions, we have better understanding and learn how to prevent potential risks from storage temperatures, preparers’ health to facility-related risks and other food safety hazards. With that, we can easily work our way through food hygiene management,” said Mr. Nguyen Thanh Trung, chef of a restaurant in District 1, Ho Chi Minh City.
“We know that to grow profitably, we have to manage our business in a sustainable manner. This means not only aiming at profitable growth and optimal capital expenditure, but also ensuring that the whole business chain – from supply to customer service and community – is driven by a sustainable development,” he addressed. “Thus, we will continue to invest in our supply chain, to improve hygiene conditions to safeguard customers’ wellbeing, to improve farmers’ productivity and income, and to support disadvantaged families and children.”
Bacac said supporting long-term development of the countries where Metro operates was the company’s core focus. “Clear customer orientation, proven competence in assortment and services as well as strong corporate social responsibility will position Metro distinctively as a reliable partner for independent businesses,” Bacac concluded.