“Building Resilience Through A Community-Centric Ecosystem“
Vietnam’s largest dairy company changes the game by standing in solidarity with the community through all of its work.
Vietnam Dairy Products Joint Stock Company, better known as Vinamilk, is Vietnam’s largest dairy company predominantly involving the manufacturing, marketing, wholesale trading and retail distribution of dairy and non-dairy products. It has more than 250 product SKUs covering a wide range of dairy and beverage products both domestically and in other 56 countries and regions.
The company was founded in 1976 and went public on the Hochiminh Stock Exchange in 2006. Its solid foundation and high potential are recognized both domestically and outside the country with market capitalization is around $8.2 billion. Amongst its most prominent milestones to date include being the first fast-moving consumer goods company in Vietnam to be named as one of Forbes 2000 Global World’s Largest Public Companies in 2017 and subsequently, being recognized as one of the top 200 companies under Forbes Best Over A Billion Asia list.
In 2021, according to Plimsoll, the company has also recently been placed 36th in its Top 50 global dairy producers ranking by sales revenue, becoming the only Southeast Asian company on the prestigious list. Moreover, Vinamilk has stepped into world’s top 10 most valuable dairy brands, joining industry aces in multiple categories a brand value of US$ 2.4 billion according to the 2021 Brand Finance report.
Vinamilk is ranked 36th in the global list of Top 50 Dairy Manufacturers, and owns 16 factories, 13 dairy farms in Vietnam, and a complex farm in Laos, alongside various subsidiaries across Vietnam, Cambodia, New Zealand, and USA.
Over the years, Vinamilk has stood by its longstanding commitment to become a world-grade brand in the food and beverage industry, bolstering the trust of consumers through the delivery of valuable nutrition to the community with respect, love and responsibility. In line with this vision and mission, Vinamilk’s sustainable development policy revolves around 3 main pillars: nature, people, and products, whereby continuous innovation is practiced for the company to become more comprehensively aware of the consequences its production and business activities have on the environment while minimising negative impact to create a more sustainable future for its stakeholders, including its 10,000 employees.
In regards to the environment, Vinamilk remains in compliance with the sustainable development goals of the United Nations, consistently taking the effort to use sustainable raw material sources, control waste, and implement circular economy solutions; increase energy usage efficiency; apply modern technology and green energy solutions; utilize sustainable land management methods; use water responsibly and efficiently; and reduce carbon footprint to fight climate change. These green environment development efforts not only contribute to positive environmental impacts, but also promote sustainable economic growth and create copious employment opportunities.
Beyond that, Vinamilk places utmost importance on building a community-centric ecosystem that epitomises the symbiotic relationship between its business and community by advancing a more purpose-driven and resilient business model that is interdependent with the fortitude of the community. Through its dedicated corporate social responsibility (CSR) department and its respective administrators, Vinamilk reinforces a sustainable society by investing in sustainable programs and collaborating with external stakeholders while emboldening its internal stakeholders to get involved and bring value to others.
Aside from providing scholarships to underprivileged students and donating to the HCMC Poor Patient Protection Association that helps fund heart and eye surgeries for underprivileged children yearly, Vinamilk spearheads several award-winning key CSR initiatives. Its Stand Tall Vietnam Milk Fund aims to provide young children with milk daily to boost their health and wellbeing. To date, over 37 million glasses of milk have been disseminated to 460,000 disadvantaged children nationwide. Vinamilk’s One Million Trees for Vietnam Fund on the other hand provides the opportunity for people to plant more trees across the country, and in 2020, the fund ended its 9-year journey with 1.21 million trees planted within 20 provinces and cities. Not only did the fund transform the locals’ perceptions of environmental protection, it also helped the ethnic minority communities who depend on forestry for a living to generate an income.
Another major initiative by Vinamilk is its School Milk Program (SMP) which reach its 15 anniversary this year. The program was pioneered in 2006 with the goal of improving schoolchildren’s nourishment levels and promoting healthy eating habits amongst local communities. This is done through various engagement activities and events such as nutrition training sessions, food safety conferences, and tours to Vinamilk’s farms and factories. Vinamilk contributes and supports the authorities and parents by providing high quality milk at a low cost, so that children receive milk at schools every day. For underprivileged families, Vinamilk and the local authorities cover the full cost of milk. This not only addresses the nutritional needs of children, but also encourages parents to send their children to school more regularly. Up till now, the program has been benefitting over 3.3 million pre- and primary schoolchildren, provide nutrition training for over 10 thousand local authorities personnel, medical staff, teachers throughout the nation. More significantly, malnutrition rates across these areas have improved tremendously. In 2020, Vinamilk support on SMP was estimated to be valued at USD13 million
Vinamilk’s steadfast dedication to the community is further reflected through its latest endeavor, where talks were held to seek for a partnership with the World Wildlife Federation (WWF) and UNICEF, to tap into environmental education for children across remote areas in Vietnam.
Since the Covid-19 outbreak last year, the company has made a vast contribution, with its nutritional products as well as financial means in the fight against COVID-19. As of September 2021, Vinamilk has donated approximately USD4.2 million worth of medical supplies, nutrition products and other necessities and including USD440,000 donated to the Coivd-19 vaccine fund – a government efforts to procure covid-19 vaccines for the Vietnamese people. Recently, Vinamilk also launched the “A Healthy You for the Healthy Vietnam” campaign, which aims to promote healthy lifestyle and bringing positive energy to the community during the COVID-19 pandemic. Under this campaign, the company has donated another USD1.1 million to the government, dedicated for supporting children that are affected by the pandemic.
It surely is no easy feat maintaining a bottom line and ensuring that ethical decisions are made for the communities, yet Vinamilk has perpetrated an exceptional job at balancing between both. Healthy communities foster healthier businesses after all, and Vinamilk has ultimately succeeded in honing in on their outward-looking approach with the community at its core.
“Despite a year full of turbulence, Vinamilk was never deterred from its dedication to bettering the lives of the local community. The leading dairy company reinforces community focus as a sound business decision and not just a moral obligation, and that in itself serves as a beacon of inspiration.”
Shanggari Balakrishnan, Chief Executive Officer, MORS Group