Multinational retail chain Walmart is looking for more supplies of seafood and other food products from Vietnam to meet its rising demand globally.
Vietnam’s Ministry of Industry and Trade and Walmart jointly held a seminar on 17 July in Ho Chi Minh City, titled “Strategies to cooperate with retail chain Walmart,” according to a government statement.
Walmart wants to see more products from Vietnam in its global supply chain – including seafood, food, household appliances, furniture, and toys – Johnny Fung, senior director of Walmart Global Sourcing, said during the seminar.
In 2018, Walmart was operating in 28 countries with a sales value of USD 500 billion (EUR 444 billion), serving an average of 270 million customers per week. At present, the demand for new products and suppliers is huge, Fung said.
The most challenging issue for Vietnamese seafood companies is the compliance of standards, such as those for sustainable development and social responsibility, said To Tuong Lan, Vice General Secretary of the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP).
But Fung said Walmart has been working with numerous Vietnamese partners and is willing to address their concerns in approaching its distribution system. It is ready to provide support to improve suppliers’ production capabilities and technologies, raise awareness in labor safety, and protect labor rights, Fung explained.
Ta Hoang Linh, director of the Vietnamese ministry’s European and American market department, said the Vietnamese market has gained significant interests from the world’s global retailers, including Walmart. The seminar is part of the government’s plan to facilitate more participation of Vietnamese suppliers into global value chains, added Linh. The ministry will support Walmart in setting up a system of qualified suppliers, with a view to gradually increasing the share of Vietnamese goods in its distribution network globally.