Vinh Hoan: The world’s Leading Pangasius company

Vinh Hoan is the incredible success story of a working mother from Vietnam turning her passion and ideals into a world-class company.

Within 13 years after its founding, Vinh Hoan became the world’s largest Pangasius exporter.

The company is committed to sustainability and quality. Based on these values, it leads the way towards responsible aquaculture worldwide.

“Vinh Hoan”

– what does it mean?

Vinh Hoan translates as “Eternally Global” or “Global Forever”.

The name conveys two key messages:

1. Vinh Hoan is a global company, supplying the world with premium Pangasius products.

2. Vinh Hoan has its sights set firmly on the future, striving to make sustainable aquaculture the norm.

How it all began: A working mother’s dream

The roots of Vinh Hoan lie firmly in Vietnam’s Mekong Delta. In 1961, company founder Truong Thi Le Khanh was born there. Fish played an important role in her life from the start, as her parents had a small fish farm. There, she gained her first experience in the fish industry.

From finance to fish

Mrs. Khanh has always had a passion for food and healthy cooking, but her education initially led her into the world of finance. After graduating from Ho Chi Minh City’s University of Finance and Accounting, she worked as a financial controller for various state-owned fish farms. This taught her about aquaculture and its strong potential for the future.

 

The aquaculture industry became increasingly privatised in the 1990s. This inspired Mrs. Khanh to follow her dream and start her own aquaculture business. Combining her passion for food with fifteen years of experience in aquaculture, she set out to make a difference.

Her goal was to create the kind of company her baby daughter would be proud of when she grew up.

Founding a sustainable company

In 1997, Vinh Hoan became a reality. With her ideals in mind, Mrs. Khanh decided to use the most advanced aquaculture techniques and farming practices. The following years she worked tirelessly to improve them. Thanks to her vertical integration strategy, she can ensure the entire production process meets her standards. From hatchery, to farm, to processing, to marketing and sales. This kind of complete traceability along the supply chain guarantees food safety, quality and sustainability.

Not only is Pangasius the “everyday” fish, but it is also the “everywhere” fish. Since it is exported and consumed in so many different countries, the challenges that the industry faces are very diverse. We have and will continue to develop legal, lobby and marketing strategies to tackle the specific type of challenge we face in each respective country. As much as we are a Vietnamese fish farming and processing company, we are also citizens of the world and keep an ear to the ground by working with proven professionals and consultants who keep us abreast of the most pressing opportunities and threats. Max Basch

VP of Outreach and Business Development, Vinh Hoan

Vinh Hoan today: Market leader in sustainable premium Pangasius

Since then, Vinh Hoan has become a resounding success. What started as a small fish farm, soon grew into one of the country’s largest aquaculture firms. 10 years after its founding, the company was launched on the Vietnamese Stock Market in 2007. Forbes now consistently ranks Vinh Hoan among Vietnam’s top publicly traded companies. In addition, it considers Mrs. Khanh one of the country’s ten most successful businesswomen. In 2010, Vinh Hoan became the world’s largest exporter of Pangasius. It now accounts for about 15% of Vietnam’s entire Pangasius industry, consisting of more than 200 companies. The company supplies over 180 customers in more than 40 countries.

Vinh Hoan quick facts

• 8 global quality assurance and sustainability certifications

• > €220 million annual Pangasius export • 75 ha hatchery

• 400 ha farming area

• 7 processing facilities for fillets and value-added products

• 3 fish meal and fish oil facilities

• 1 collagen & gelatine factory

• 900 MT/day processing capacity

• 1 sales office

• 3 international subsidiaries/branches

Leading the way in sustainable certification

What makes this possible is Vinh Hoan’s excellent reputation. Following Mrs. Khanh’s vision, the company is committed to quality assurance and sustainability. Therefore it complies with the world’s toughest standards. For example, in 2009 Vinh Hoan obtained GlobalGAP certification for its good aquaculture practice. Soon after, it became the world’s first Pangasius producer to be awarded ASC certification. In 2015, Vinh Hoan was also the first company in the world to be certified BAP 4 Stars for its hatcheries, feed production, Pangasius aquaculture and processing.

Raising the bar for Pangasius worldwide

The European market demands responsibly farmed fish. To export Pangasius to Europe, having sustainable certification like ASC is a must. However, not all countries share these standards yet.

Vinh Hoan strives to guarantee consistent product quality, food safety and environmental stewardship across the Pangasius industry, for both established and emerging export markets. The latest version of the Pangasius Decree that recently came into law is a big step in the right direction. Vinh Hoan was a major proponent of this regulation, which ensures that all Pangasius exported from Vietnam meets established quality standards.   

Three areas of expertise

To advance the application of sustainable aquaculture around the world, Vinh Hoan now contains three divisions:
Vinh Foods – Premium Pangasius and other seafood

Aquaculture – Research, development, education and on-site training to help advance sustainable tropical aquaculture

Vinh Wellness – Premium collagen peptide and gelatine derived from Vinh Hoan’s sustainably raised fish skins.

This approach both optimises the company’s own environmental and economic sustainability and ensures the global future of tropical aquaculture. So what else does Vinh Hoan envision for the future?

Three areas of expertise

To advance the application of sustainable aquaculture around the world, Vinh Hoan now contains three divisions:
Vinh Foods – Premium Pangasius and other seafood

Aquaculture – Research, development, education and on-site training to help advance sustainable tropical aquaculture

Vinh Wellness – Premium collagen peptide and gelatine derived from Vinh Hoan’s sustainably raised fish skins.

This approach both optimises the company’s own environmental and economic sustainability and ensures the global future of tropical aquaculture. So what else does Vinh Hoan envision for the future?

What’s next: Spreading knowledge and developing new products

The core values that Mrs. Khanh instilled on the company clearly focus on the future. Sustainable aquaculture makes it possible to produce food in a way that won’t destroy our environment and climate. This is of vital importance, as the world population is expected to exceed 9 billion by 2050. Compared to 2009, this means a 70% increase in food production is required. This drives Vinh Hoan’s mission to spread its knowledge and advance sustainable aquaculture technology worldwide via Vinh Aquaculture.

By 2025, most fish production is expected to come from aquaculture instead of wild catch. A 48% increase in farmed catfish like Pangasius is projected between 2015 and 2025. This offers the market leader Vinh Hoan great opportunities. But merely expanding volumes isn’t all the company has in store for the future. It is also developing value-added products and diversifying.

Value-added Pangasius products

In recent years, Vinh Hoan has successfully developed and marketed ready-to-cook product lines of breaded and marinated Pangasius. Its latest addition is the ready-to-eat “kabayaki” grilled Pangasius from the new value-added factory with a grilled fish production line. With a capacity of 2,000 tons of finished products per year, this line allows for sustainable sales growth. Stay tuned, as the development of more value-added products is underway.

Turning waste into premium products

The new Vinh Wellness division clearly shows the company’s potential for diversification. Using a food by-product like fish skins to create valuable, premium wellness products is a prime example of both environmental and economic sustainability.

Towards a sustainable future of responsible aquaculture

As Vinh Hoan’s Chairman of the Board, Mrs. Khanh’s focus remains the same as in 1997: challenging convention to create a world where sustainable aquaculture is the norm, creating both products and prosperity.

The company has already made remarkable strides with its new approaches to sustainable aquaculture, environmental protection and workforce development.

However, its journey is only just beginning…