COFIDEC in search of large material areas for large - scale production

    In the third quarter of 2016,  the Coastal Fisheries Development Corporation (COFIDEC) received a new factory costing VND400 billion invested by SATRA. According to the leaders' calculations, the new factory shall reach the designed capacity of 8,000 tons per year in 2019. In 2017 alone, COFIDEC targets to obtain US$20 million worth of exports, a 40% increase against the same period last year. The figure is expected to rise to US$30 million by 2019, when the factory will run at its full capacity.


MODERN FACTORY IS READY

   Talking about the new factory, Mr. Ho Phuoc Hai, COFIDEC Director, said, "With complete infrastructure and modern assembly line and equipment, the new factory has intensified the company's confidence as well as competitiveness. Many partners are expressing their trust upon seeing the state-of-the-art factory with advanced technology and green and clean production processes, ensuring the workers' working and living conditions."

   Currently, according to Mr. Hai, COFIDEC is carrying out researches to adopt even more machines to replace manual labor and improve productivity. It is expected that when the entire system is operational stably this year, the productivity will increase by 30%. An issue of great importance - also a challenge to be tackled - is market development, joining hands with strategic partners to expand the outlet and establish sustainable raw material sources, ensuring the maximal production so as to increase productivity and ensure revenue and profit.

BUILDING LARGE MATERIAL AREAS

   COFIDEC's advantage, apart from the new factory, according to Mr. Hai, is its ability to self­supply up to 80% of materials for production. At the moment, the company is trying to overcome the remaining unstable 20%. Except for objective factors such as flood, drought or epidemic affecting the material volume, it is the limited, unplanned specialized cultivation area that causes trouble for COFIDEC in managing the input balance.

"I hope that by participating in joint programs initiated by SATRA in many localities, COFIDEC can find new and stabler material areas," said Mr. Hai.

   It is estimated that in 2017 the factory will attain capacity of 6,000 tons (50% of aqua-products and 50% of agro-products), 7,000 tons in 2018 and 8,000 tons in 2019. To achieve such targets, creating stable material areas

is the most important solution. Not only continuing to provide assistance and consulting services to small farmers who have signed contracts with the company, this year, COFIDEC actively looks for or collaborates with big agricultural cooperatives or companies with farming area of one hectare and more. The material areas developed by the company at the moment are in An Giang Province with okra, Lam Dong Province with eggplants, zucchinis and pumpkins. In the future, there will be other areas selected for growing edamame beans, potatoes, corn, papayas, dragon fruits, mangoes, jackfruits, etc.

   In order to control input materials in accordance with customers' standards, COFIDEC has signed contracts with farmers under the witness of their local authorities. Accordingly, COFIDEC will supply imported cultivars (upon the partners' request), assist farmers in cultivation techniques, provide consulting services on agricultural medicines, requirements to be observed and supervisors in all material areas. Upon harvest, the products meeting the standards  shall be collected following the factory's production demand.

   Besides the application of both material area development plans - in either large or small area, COFIDEC also looks for appropriate localities (regarding climate, soil and transport distance) to further develop material areas. Through studying the soil, the company has found lands with suitable soil conditions. Despite small farming area, most farmers are experienced enough to achieve high yield, ensuring the volume and reducing the transportation costs for the factory.

   Together with strengthening the factory and stabilizing input materials, COFIDEC is currently implementing a series of solutions to maximize the new factory's capacity. Besides reinforcing and expanding the long-term market of Japan (accounting for 70% of its export value) and South Korea {20%), the company also invests in promotion activities by participating in international fairs and online marketing to find new customers in potential markets such as the EU, the US, Australia and the Middle East.


"COFIDEC's strength is the ability to affirm its strategic products and strategic customers while retaining skillful workforce. Given the increasingly fiercer competition on the market, COFIDEC has to make use of this strength to find more outlets, even in the local market," emphasized Mr. Hai.

   As a veteran fisheries exporter since 1991, the company has been one of the 10 pioneers in processing frozen seafood for export. Only a few years later, besides the US market, COFIDEC products have been exported to two East Asian fastidious customers, Japan and South Korea. The products introduced to Japanese customers are of high value-added processed shrimps instead of semi-processed products exported to the US. At present, COFIDEC also exports frozen vegetables and fruits to the Japanese market. Revenue from frozen vegetables and fruits now accounts for up to 40% of the company's total sales in recent years. 


LE MINH

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