C.P. is a Thai corporation with 100 years of experience in the food industry and agricultural industry. An early entrant (since 1993) as the country began opening up to foreign investors, C.P. Vietnam (CPV) has succeeded in implementing its 3F business model (Feed- Farm- Food) and expanded into the retail sector (CP FreshMart, CP Kiosk, CP Shop, Five Star) with a vision of being the "Kitchen of the world". Its work has earned it several awards of merit from the Vietnamese government, especially the highest distinction, The Third Class Labor Order by the State in 2018. In 2019, CPV ranked 18th among the 500 largest enterprises in Vietnam.
C.P. Vietnam CEO Montri Suwanposri told Vietnam Economic News that the company practices the C.P. Group's first core value of three benefits to sustainability that delivers benefits to the country, the people and the company.
He explained that to achieve the success that it has to date, CPV as a whole, from leaders to every worker, has followed the strategy of sustainability that has three main cores – 'Food Security, Self-Sufficient Society, and Balance of Nature.'
Could you tell us how C.P. Vietnam has dealt with the challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic, particularly in ensuring employee safety and stable operations?
Throughout the 26 years that we have been in we have accorded top priority to the health and safety of our employees. Therefore, almost as soon as the novel coronavirus outbreak happened, the company initiated many measures to cope with it. We closely monitored the situation in the country and around the world and promulgated SOPs – Standard Operation Procedures on hygiene and safety regarding the Covid-19 pandemic in a comprehensive and detailed manner – for staff from before work to after work, paying attention to all areas like the workplace, health room, reception room, kitchen and transportation. We communicated this to all employees for them to understand the information and take it seriously.
All the preventive measures were deployed, like regular disinfection at work, wearing a mask, washing hands and so on. We also created conditions for employees to work from home to abide by all requirements in the social distancing period. The company focused on communicating prevention measures to all of our employees through internal communication channels both online and offline. We have a dedicated channel for continuously updating pandemic information for our employees.
To ensure that our employees enjoyed security and peace of mind, we followed the policy of the C.P. Group in Thailand, making a commitment not to fire employees for any reason related to the pandemic.
In addition, we also supported employees in this difficult time with several measures including giving masks and hand sanitizers to more than 24,000 workers across the country, meeting the food needs of employees' relatives, including school-related expenses for children of employees affected by the pandemic.
Thanks to the concern of the company's Board of Directors and raising of the pandemic prevention spirit among all employees, we have overcome this difficult period together to continue carrying out the mission of ensuring sufficient food supply for Vietnamese consumers during and after the social distancing period.
What were some of the activities you engaged in to reach out to the community at large during this crisis?
Ever since we began investing in Vietnam, we have undertaken volunteer activities to support the country in various ways. When the country had to tackle the Covid-19 pandemic, the company practiced its philosophy of showing "Gratitude to Fatherland Vietnam" with many specific activities.
The company awarded 30,000 "0 dong" meals to the FoodBank Vietnam Project during the social distancing period for migrants living in big cities, poor workers, homeless people, and people in other difficult circumstances.
Besides, we donated a million chicken eggs and many other nutritious food products to many people in medical isolation at the peak of the outbreak and also provided support after the isolation period. We presented 10,000 units of N95 medical masks of the 3M brand and 4,000 medical gloves and food to the epidemic prevention and combat teams at 15 hospitals.
We distributed 2,400 liters of hand sanitizing gel through the Ben Tre Young Scholar Club to more than 300 places including shelters, open houses, hospitals, schools and markets in Ben Tre Province. One special thing we did was to encourage people to exchange old plastic bottles for recycling, minimizing the environment damage they cause.
Alongside all this, the company organized blood donation camps at its branches for people hesitant about traveling far. The compassionate heart of CPV's employees beat strongly with the donation of 823 blood units during the days of the social distancing campaign. Along with other organizations, CPV also supported the Pink Spring Festival 2020 by collecting 9,005 blood units.
The company also collaborated with musician Khanh Bang to release the music video "Joining hands for Vietnamese Motherland" to express gratitude and boost the spirit of the doctors and soldiers who dedicated to the people during the Covid-19 crisis.
What deserves special mention is that a medical mask production line was set up in just five weeks. Applying artificial intelligence technology and an automatic, closed production process, it has been producing 50,000 face masks every day to donate to the country and people of Vietnam during this challenging time.
What do you predict for the domestic market in the second half of this year? What are CPV's growth expectations for 2020?
In Vietnam, the successful fight against the Covid-19 virus has made a good impression on the world, so I am confident that in the second half of this year, the market will rebound and consumer demand will increase. With the government's policy of stimulating the economy, the "new normal period," will be an opportunity for companies to recover and develop.
As far as CPV is concerned, we expect the Covid-19 pandemic to continue to be controlled well, and difficulties reduced for farmers and the animal feed industry. CPV will be able to provide pork products for consumers at affordable prices, ensuring stable prices for all its products. The company's policy is not to take undue advantage of opportunities to increase prices and increase profits. We have pursued this policy for a long time on special occasions such as Tet (Lunar New Year Holiday).
In 2020, CPV expects to complete some investments, bring some projects into operation to diversify our product range, serve customers better while boosting exports and creating more jobs for many people across the country.
Could you say something about C.P.'s expansion plans in Vietnam for the coming years?
For more than 26 years that we have been here, C.P. has never stopped developing and expanding production and business. We are proud to have been a part of the developing economy of Vietnam since 1993. From less than 20 local staff at the time of establishment, we have more than 24,000 employees now. We strictly follow Vietnamese regulations and abide by the local cultural norms as we contribute our best to effecting the transfer of new technologies to benefit the country, the government and the people of Vietnam. We also look forward to becoming a trusted contributor to the Vietnamese government's vision of becoming a major global food supplier. Many of our significant investment projects not only serve the domestic market but also support Vietnam as a world-class food exporter.
Our plans this year and next year are to realize our desire to make a closed chain, directly serving domestic and international consumers. We are currently speeding up the meat production process with the construction of a 6ha slaughterhouse at the Phu Nghia Industrial Park in Hanoi's Chuong My District with a total investment of nearly VND450 billion that can deal with 2,000 pigs per day. This will reduce intermediaries and ensure the supply of safe livestock products to consumers.
We will also continue to expand our shrimp hatchery system to increase our production capacity to 20 billion shrimp breeders in 2021 and build a shrimp feed factory in Ca Mau with a capacity of 10,000 tonnes per month. The export complex project in Binh Phuoc is also being completed with a closed chain, from a food factory to a chicken farm and a slaughterhouse. CPV's projects provide job opportunities for people and are helping modernize the agricultural sector. We also aspire to bring Vietnamese livestock products to consumers around the world.
CPV will never stop expanding our business here because we believe in the prosperity of the Vietnamese market. In my opinion, Thai investors doing business in Vietnam have the advantage of having the government's attention, qualified human resources and access to a market with great expansion opportunities in the AEC (ASEAN Economic Community).
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