Entering the market, at the age of 30, young entrepreneur Nguyen Thi Huyen brought cinnamon products, orgarnic anise branded Vinasemex to conquer many fastidious markets, draw new aromatic roads on the international map.
Choose a sustainable path

Coming to Vietnam Cinnamon Production and Export Joint Stock Company (Vinasamex) on the last day of 2018, we witnessed the atmosphere of the Company’s hustle and bustle. CEO Nguyen Thi Huyen continually hears the phone of her partner and handles the work. She revealed that every day, Vinasamex exports more than 1 ton of products to many fastidious markets such as EU, Canada, Japan, Korea, USA …

The story with Huyen starts from why she entered this business. Huyen shared that her previous field of study had nothing to do with agriculture or commerce, but when she was with her husband, she absorbed her passion for trading in anise and cinnamon.

Huyen previously used to collect cinnamon bark and star anise to export to China. The more she studied, the more she was determined to bring the mysterious flavors, which Western traders sought for centuries to buy back to the country to create the way of flavoring, to many markets around the world.

Taking time to research, Huyen learned anise area in Vietnam is about 40,000 ha and concentrated mainly in Lang Son; while cinnamon area is up to 80,000 ha, concentrated mainly in Yen Bai and Quang Nam. These two agricultural products have a lot of potential, used to make raw materials for processing many valuable products in the field of medicine, food …

In 2011, when she was just 23 years old, Huyen decided to set up Vinasamex Company, starting a business by buying cinnamon and exporting it to foreign countries. The English language of Huyen Foreign Language University was promoted at this time. The first market Huyen successfully approached was India, Bangladesh and from 2013, Vinasamex started bringing goods to Korea and the US.

“Attending international fairs, I realized that many markets have demand for cinnamon and star anise. Especially markets in Europe, USA, Japan, Korea, and Taiwan. Returning to Vietnam, I decided to go deep into the raw material area, making the standard from this stage, in order to win the fastidious customers. I started working with locals and people on the process of planting and consuming ”, Huyen shared.
The time to decide to change the production process, build the product value chain associated with the farmer, Huyen said, many acquaintances told her to be crazy. They say they are making a profit in the traditional way (buying export goods), why it is time-consuming and costly to develop raw material areas and train farmers without knowing the effectiveness is higher. .

But ignoring the doubts and concerns, Huyen is determined to improve the value of cinnamon products, recovering with a firm belief that “to do well from the root, the value is sustainable”.

Selecting a new direction, difficulties strike young business women, when cinnamon growers are mainly ethnic minority people, with limited knowledge, even many people who are not literate. They are focusing suspicious eyes on the investor, female director Huyen, why they have to change the process of growing and tending cinnamon, anise, while their traditional way of doing things is still good, that they Benefit from this change. Must be very difficult and take time to persuade, Huyen new people agree to follow.

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Initially, only a few people signed contracts to underwrite products with Vinasamex and follow the process given by the Company, from planting, tending, harvesting to ensure high quality, harvesting finished and transferred. Processing company at the request of each customer. After one year, the households who work with Vinasamex bring remarkable efficiency, income increased many times, from which many households registered to follow.

Currently, there are 439 households cooperating with Vinasamex in cinnamon and anise areas to sell organic products to the Company. The company also made a commitment to buy 10% higher than market price. People’s lives gradually improved, they trusted and accompanied Vinasamex to bring the value of cinnamon products to the next level.
Sustainable business strategies of Vinasimex and young owners have really conquered customers in developed countries.
“There is a company in Germany that is willing to pay Vinasamex higher than the original price when they understand how we do and the values we bring to farmers,” CEO Nguyen Thi Huyen said happily. .

Vinasamex’s cinnamon and star anise products have gained Fairtrade certification – an international certification for fair trade, a beneficial customer, and a profitable product maker. Along with that, Organic certification makes it easy for Vinasamex to bring products to the EU – the world’s most demanding capital market.

Huyen shared, in fact, to bring products to the EU is not easy. Understanding that, right from the beginning, she focused on building the value of the product so that the farmers could build a raw material area. (Hai Yen – stock invest newspaper)