Wilmar and Saigon Co-op have announced a joint venture

Wilmar and Saigon Co-op have announced a joint venture

Wilmar International has teamed up with Vietnamese retailer Saigon Co-op to form a joint venture specialising in sauces and condiments.

Nam Duong International Foodstuff Corp. will manufacture products for sale in the domestic and export markets.

The two have invested VND577.2bn (US$25.6m) in the establishment of a new factory in the Hiep Phuoc Industrial Park in Ho Chi Minh City, which will take over Saigon Co-op's factory for the manufacture of sauces and condiments under the Nam Duong brand. Singapore-based agrifood group Wilmar will own 51% of the business and Saigon Co-op the remaining 49%.

Established in 1951, the Nam Duong brand produces soy sauce, chilli sauce and tomato sauce. While the products are widely available in Vietnam, they are also exported to the US, Canada and Europe.

Nguyen Thanh Nhan, general director of Saigon Co-op, said: "As the retailer with the most extensive modern retailing network in Vietnam, Saigon Co-op has intimate knowledge of Vietnamese consumers’ taste and preference in food. Wilmar Group on the other hand is very experienced in the manufacture and distribution of food products globally. The combination of Saigon Co-op and the Wilmar Group’s strengths in the Nam Duong International Foodstuff Corp. joint venture will be a milestone in the Vietnam consumer market. This joint venture will introduce international health and production standards and global distribution networks to Nam Duong sauces and condiments products that are well regarded and rich in traditional taste."

Presently in Vietnam, Wilmar has joint venture investments in vegetable oil refining and wheat flour milling with products supplied to industrial end users as well as the consumer market.

A spokesperson for Wilmar told just-food: "Wilmar will continue to focus on vegetable oil production in Vietnam however we are very excited to partner with Saigon Co-op as this new joint venture will enhance our product offering to consumers".

Ray Chew, the head of Wilmar’s business operations in Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos, added: "We are very honoured and excited to have the opportunity to partner with Saigon Co-op, the largest food retailer in Vietnam. Leveraging on each other’s strengths will allow Saigon Co-op and Wilmar to increase the reach of the Nam Duong brand and grow this sauces and condiments business significantly."