Improving the competitiveness of the lacquer value chain in Viet Nam

Ms. Duong Thi Thanh Thuy, Director of Lacquerworld company, has recently participated in the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) Empretec programme. The Empretec programme promotes a methodology of behavioral change that helps entrepreneurs put ideas into action and helps business to grow.

After participating in the course, Ms. Duong Thi Thanh Thuy commented: “This course helps to improve a lot of behaviors that include System planning and monitoring and taking calculated risks. Now I know how to make plan with a clear timeframe and know how to anticipate and avoid risk in the future”. 

Lacquerworld is among the 50 beneficiary companies selected under the UN joint programme ‘Green Production and Trade to Increase Income and Employment Opportunities for the Rural Poor’. The programme aims to increase income and employment opportunities for raw material growers/collectors and grassroots producers of handicrafts and small furniture, targeting 4,800 poor households in four northern provinces of Viet Nam, namely Thanh Hoa, Nghe An, Hoa Binh and Phu Tho.

Within the four targeted provinces, the programme will focus on the five following value chains: (i) bamboo/rattan; (ii) sericulture and weaving; (iii) sea grass; (iv) lacquerware; and (v) handmade paper. The programme’s approach is to develop better integrated, pro-poor, and environmentally sustainable “green” value chains, enabling poor growers, collectors and producers to improve their products and link
these to more profitable markets.

Lacquerworld sources natural lacquer liquid from Phu Tho province, one of the programme’s beneficiary provinces. Lacquer liquid is harvesting by tapping the lacquer trees, which is then used to coat the inner layers of the company’s colourful lacquerware. Supported under the programme, some 300 farmers in Phu Tho will receive support to plant, cultivate and harvest better variety lacquer trees, thereby improving the quality and productivity of the trees, and, in turn, their income derived from tree tapping.

The programme will also support companies, such as Lacquerworld, to analyze and provide support to clean up their production, by introducing environmentally-friendly production methods and by building its capacity on cleaner designs (e.g. light, easy to stack and transport, use of limited material, recycled or sustainably managed raw material supply, minimum or no use of chemicals in the production process, etc.).

A team of foreign designers has been engaged under the programme to assist, inter alia, Lacquerworld, design new high-end sustainable product collections that meet market requirements and consumer preferences. The new product collections of the beneficiary companies will be exhibited during ‘LifeStyle Viet Nam 2011’. Supported by the programme, the Vietnam Handicraft Exporters Association (VIETCRAFT) is organizing the second edition of Viet Nam’s International Home Décor and Gifts Fair” or “LifeStyle Vietnam” in short.

To prepare for successful trade fair participation, company managers, such as Ms. Duong Thi Thanh Thuy, will receive support before and during the fair, including the technique of displaying products at the fair, how to deal with customers, and how to ensure proper follow-up to turn promising leads into actual business!