CSR PORTRAIT N°7: Les Vergers du Mékong

Jean-Luc VOISIN

Founder and Managing Director of LES VERGERS DU MEKONG

Can you explain your activity in a few words?

Our company’s brands at LE FRUIT and FOLLIET have become known for realizing cutting-edge ideas on sustainable value chain, local and eco-friendly agriculture, traceability innovations, healthy products that aim to drive changes and improvements to the environment, people and the planet.

LE FRUIT Priorities are set for an exclusive local sourcing and always naturally healthy juices, purees and jams. One of the priorities of the business is to secure the source of supply. Since 2000 I endeavored to build trust with local fruit growers and soon started direct, long-term and transparent relationships with them. Our production atelier is settled in Can Tho, in the luxuriant Mekong Delta, heart of the richest orchards of Vietnam to be very close to the farmers.

 

Have you already implemented a social or environmental project in your company? Or do you have a sustainable development policy?

Since I started the company LES VERGERS DU MEKONG and created the brand LE FRUIT back in 2000, I wanted to create a progressive company locally rooted that benefit the local communities (starting with the farmers in the Mekong delta) and I made a clear choice in favour of long-term sustainable development. There is no project as such on social and environmental issues, but all our company is built around a non-traditional business model with a much broader view that embraces social and ecological concerns as opportunities for long term viability.

LES VERGERS DU MEKONG has adopted the following statement to describe my vision: Paving the way for a sustainable Food & Drink environment. As a responsible company, we understand that we play the leading role in the food and drink industry towards greater sustainability. We also believe that sustainability is the natural path to a secure and long-term future for our business; it lies at the heart of our vision and contributes directly to our strategy.

Our current project is to develop Organic agriculture with the farmers in the Mekong delta. We want to take our farming support to the next level that strives and pledges for sustainability, the enhancement of soil fertility and biodiversity.

 

What type of advice would you give to other companies in Vietnam to launch such CSR project?

First, I would suggest going beyond a CSR Project, I would suggest rethinking the company’s strategy to integrate sustainability in the mission of the company itself.

Then, I would recommend integrating the principles of Corporate Social Responsibility practices (i.e. environment, social, ethics, supply chain) into all the level of the company and involve all the employees to support in the drive to improve sustainability.

And ultimately, I would look into certifying as a B Corporation. Being a B Corp goes beyond a product or service certification or a CSR project. It is the only certification that measures a company’s entire social and environmental performance. We went through the process last year and would be glad to help other companies in Vietnam to get certified. The B Impact Assessment evaluates how your company’s operations and business model impact your workers, community, environment, and customers. From your supply chain and input materials to your charitable giving and employee benefits, B Corp Certification proves your business is meeting the highest standards of verified performance.

'As B Corporations and leaders of this emerging economy, we believe that we must be the change we seek in the world.’

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