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|C.P. Vietnam believes that strong corporate and social responsibility should be a cornerstone of any successful business|
- C.P. (Charoen Pokphand) Group was established in 1921 in Bangkok and has become one of the strongest industrial, agricultural, and food processing groups in Thailand.
- In 1988, C.P. opened a representative office in Ho Chi Minh City. Five years later, C.P. Vietnam Livestock Co., Ltd. (now C.P. Vietnam Corporation) was established in Bien Hoa 2 Industrial Zone, Dong Nai province, specialising in the production of feed for cattle, poultry, and aquatic animals; breeding cattle, poultry, and aquatic animals; as well as processing, distributing, and retailing food.
- In 1993, the corporation built a livestock feed plant, a poultry farm house, and the first egg incubator in the southern province of Dong Nai.
- In 1996, the corporation established Charoen Pokphand Vietnam Co., Ltd. in Hanoi, while simultaneously building an animal feed plant, a hen farm, and an incubator plant.
- In 2009, Charoen Pokphand Vietnam JSC was merged with C.P. Vietnam Livestock JSC.
- In 2011, the company’s name was changed to C.P. Vietnam Corporation.
After more than two decades, C.P. Vietnam currently has six plants producing feed for cattle and poultry, three plants producing feed for aquatic animals, and one plant preliminarily processing maize. Besides, the company has been successfully building brands, including CP Fresh Mart, CP Kiosk, and CP Shop.
Along with the efforts to restructure the Vietnamese livestock industry, C.P. Vietnam is working to implement corporate social responsibility (CSR) activities to express its gratitude to Vietnam and those who have accompanied the group throughout its ups and downs over the decades.
It has been six months since Thai-invested C.P. Vietnam received the Third-Class Labour Medal, but those from the Board of Directors to employees recall the honour with fondness and pride. The same pride could be seen in the eyes of Montri Suwanposri, general director of C.P. Vietnam, at the recently-held ceremony to honour one hundred outstanding Vietnamese blood donors.
The group officially entered Vietnam in 1993 by establishing C.P. Vietnam Livestock Co., Ltd. At the time, the Vietnamese livestock sector was still simple and underdeveloped. Unlike other business, which only laid priority on their own development, C.P. Vietnam partnered up with local farmers to transfer technology and experiences to help them build modern livestock and aquaculture models. Thanks to the support from the company, thousands of households switched from small-time farming to more methodical production models using modern tools, escaping poverty. While building out solid business in the agricultural industry, C.P. Vietnam expanded co-operation with local farmers to promote modern agro-industrial production, which includes a closed safe food manufacturing chain from farm to table.
A farmer from Lac Thuy district, in the northern province of Hoa Binh, has been a partner of C.P. Vietnam for nearly 20 years now. The company provides pigs, medicine, and feed for his farms. When pigs show any sign of disease, the company will dispatch technicians to treat and take care of these pigs. In addition, farmers do not need to worry about selling their livestock as they can pass them on through C.P. Vietnam’s remuneration scheme.
“I breed about 1,000 pigs on my farms, five times more than 20 years ago. Each litter takes approximately five months to raise, when their weight reaches about one quintal. The company will pay a remuneration of VND4,000 per kilogramme, which comes to about VND400 million ($17,400) for a litter. After deducting expenses for labour, water, and electricity, I make VND250 million ($10,870), which is enough to cover my family’s life,” the farmer said.
Similarly, other farmer partners of the company also said they can make enough money with C.P. Vietnam to cover both their family expenses and pay for their children’s education overseas.
C.P. Vietnam considers the recognition from the Vietnamese government as the first-ever Thai company to receive the Third-Class Labour Medal for its outstanding achievements in agriculture a monumental honour. Montri Suwanposri said the medal was approved by the president of Vietnam for the company’s long-term contributions to the country’s economic and human development. It reflects the success of the company’s Three-Benefit principle of benefiting the country, the people, and the company, as well as the efficacy of putting the country and the people ahead of the pure interests of the company.
Silent CSR activities
Along with business development, C.P. Vietnam considers social contribution an important part of its development strategy. For this reason, the company set up C.P. Vietnam’s Donation Fund in 2009, providing various kinds of support to the society, including educational support, and initiatives to support the poor. The company also provides a platform for medical volunteers to gather and initiated projects to support underprivileged people.
This support comes from C.P. Vietnam’s sincere ambition to ease the “pain points” of the community who are not related to the company’s business. Volunteers overcome hardships and are always conscientious while implementing these missions.
One of the key activities of C.P. Vietnam is the highly acclaimed blood donation programme, which has contributed over 62 million cubic centimetres of blood.
Le Nhat Thuy, senior vice president of the company and chairwoman of C.P. Vietnam’s Donation Fund, explained that Vietnamese people had been unlikely to donate blood to a non-family member due to superstitions. However, the company’s project broke the norm and contributed to a great deal to improvements in public healthcare.
Most recently, Montri Suwanposri was honoured among the 100 outstanding blood donors in 2019 on World Blood Donor Day on June 14, after donating blood 20 times personally and organising blood donation events within the group that drew in the participation of 10,000 donors. So far, four representatives of C.P. Vietnam have received the same recognition, including Sooksunt Jiumjaiswanglerg, former general director of C.P. Vietnam and existing Co-CEO of Charoen Pokphand Foods Pub, and Chinoros Benjachavakul, vice president, HR of C.P. Vietnam.
“Blood donation is a precious act and also a responsibility of citizen. Being a Thai person but living and working in Vietnam, I consider this country my second home and I believe I have the same responsibilities to this country as any Vietnamese national,” said Benjachavakul.
A culture of responsibility
In addition to CSR activities, the company also focuses on taking care of its employees’ well-being, as part of its Employee Social Responsibility initiative. Accordingly, the company organises numerous meaningful programmes such as visiting employee’s homes, C.P. Vietnam Family Day, and charity funds to help employees in need, all of which are aimed to build a corporate culture of solidarity where members share and take care of each other as a family, removing the gap between leaders and employees.
“The Vietnamese government’s recognition is a motivation for C.P. Vietnam to continue to implement our mission in the country,” said Montri Suwanposri.
During the past 25 years, C.P. Vietnam has been quietly implementing social activities as a responsible Vietnamese citizen. However, with the massive wave of Thai investment on the horizon, C.P. Vietnam believes it is time to provide better coverage for its social responsibility initiatives and shed light on how it has contributed to its success in the country. This would help other Thai investors realise the importance of growing with the community and strive to earn the support of the Vietnamese government.