The platform is one of the outcomes of the PPP project on sustainable fishery "Creating a high quality integrated fresh fish chain for the Vietnamese domestic market." It was found by Metro Cash & Carry Vietnam and its business partners including Vietnam Challenge Fund (VCF), Cargill Vietnam, Fresh Studio Innovation Asia, and the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.

Randy Guttery, managing director of the wholesaler, said that the project mission was to offer Vietnamese customers good quality fresh fish produced in a sustainable way and processed under international hygiene and safety standards.

Located in the same location of Metro Can Tho wholesale centre, the platform consists of a processing area, cold storage rooms and waste storage rooms to ensure food safety and hygiene.

The company said that the Metro platform is to supply processed and live fish of the Mekong Delta to all its 15 wholesale centers over the country.

"The Metro fish platform is an example of our PPP project with the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development of Vietnam," Guttery said in a statement. He furthered that "the project is to develop quality standards for aquaculture and fisheries, to train and certify the farmers, to develop traceable fish sourcing system, and to develop the infrastructures along the local fish chains."

He said the platform was a best practice of the PPP-collaboration concept in sustainably developing Vietnam's agriculture that was highly evaluated by the World Economic Forum (WEF) of Asia in HCM City in 2010.

At the 2010 WEF on East Asia in HCM City, the agriculture ministry presented Vietnam's new vision on agriculture. A taskforce including 15 leading international groups who have been investing in Vietnam was set up and chaired by minister of Agriculture & Rural Development Cao Duc Phat, while Randy Guttery was elected as the co-chair.

The taskforce focuses on five specific areas: tea, coffee, commodities, fruits and vegetables, and fish. Metro Cash & Carry Vietnam leads the fish committee.

According to the company, besides local market, in the near future fish products from the platform will be also exported to Metro's over 700 wholesale centers in 30 countries worldwide.

The Saigon Times Daily - November 7, 2011