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Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Mavin Group going beyond green

By Kim Ngoc

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For Mavin Group, a large corporation in the agrifood sector with many facilities in Vietnam, sustainability is now imperative.

“Businesses like Mavin need to be aware of many more things than just making profit. It’s about sustainable business operations. It’s about looking at what we’re giving back to the community, and how we can engage with the community and be seen as a good corporate citizen,” says Mr. David John Whitehead, chairman of the group.

During its long-established presence in Vietnam, Mavin Group has managed to live up to this vision, attending to the community’s welfare and protecting the environment alongside business expansion.

Sustainable livelihood for community

In the company’s first-ever Sustainability Development Report for 2023 that was just released, the chairman of Mavin Group stresses that the paper “records the Group’s operational results in terms of environmental and social aspects to improve efficiency, bringing benefits to the Group’s production and business activities, building a happy working environment for employees, while spreading good values ​​to the community and the whole society.”

One example of the Group’s effort in “spreading good values ​​to the community” is the collaboration between Mavin Group and World Vision to make good impact on the society of Thanh Hoa Province, specifically to support poor households via the Livelihood Support Project. Owing to this project, poor families are given the fishing rod rather than the fish to escape poverty in a sustainable way.

Take, for example, the family of seventh-grader V.V. Thuan in Thuong Xuan District of Thanh Hoa Province.

In 2021, Thuan’s family was selected to participate in a support program jointly implemented by Mavin Group and World Vision International in Vietnam, which aims to support disadvantaged households. The family received training in husbandry techniques, and was provided with 100 chickens and chicken feed by Mavin and World Vision.

Thuan recalled how miserable his family faced when living in a thatched house. “Every time it rained, the water leaked in, leaving our whole family no place to sleep at night. We had to stay awake on those rainy and windy nights,” the boy said.

“My father had no stable job. He used to drink a lot and roam the village. Every time he got drunk, he scolded my mother.”

Now, participating in the value chain livestock model supported by Mavin Group, Thuan’s father has a meaningful daily job helping the whole family take care of the chicks. This also helps his father refrain from drinking.

Unfortunately, the thatched house caught fire due to a short circuit and all assets were reduced to ashes. Local organizations and Mavin then came to the poor family’s rescue and helped rebuild the house.

After overcoming the difficulties, in 2023, Thuan’s family continued to receive aid from Mavin Group with 100 Mavin Cherry ducklings, duck feed, and instructions on sustainable husbandry techniques.

Mavin Group’s Chairman David John Whitehead shared his happiness on the collaboration with World Vision. “Instead of providing financial support for poor households to overcome poverty, we seek to help them develop a sustainable livelihood and take control of a small business with a stable income, and from that point improve their own living standards. It is our main goal in all of Mavin Group’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programs,” David said.

“Through this method, Mavin helps them escape poverty, access effective husbandry and hygienic products, and simultaneously contribute to the sustainable development of Vietnam’s agriculture.”

The aforesaid Cooperation Program to Promote Sustainable Livestock is within the framework of the Livelihood Support Project for poor households, which has been implemented in Thanh Hoa Province since 2018 with a total budget of US$200,000. Hundreds of households benefiting from the program are disadvantaged, ethnic minority families. After selling the product, 10% of the income will be contributed to a fund to continue supporting other families in the area.

In 2023, the Program provided 12,000 duck breeds, more than 40 tons of animal feed, veterinary medicine, and technical transfer training for 120 households in difficult circumstances in Thuong Xuan District. In 2024, the program will mark its 6th year and will be continued in the poorest areas of Thanh Hoa Province, including Thuong Xuan and Quan Hoa districts.

Apart from this project, Mavin Group has also organized other CSR activities to support disadvantaged people, such as developing clean water facilities for rural areas where the company operates. In 2023, the company donated 100 scholarships to students and VND670 million in relief aid for poor people.

Full-fledged commitment to sustainability

While supporting the community is one pillar of the company’s CSR strategy, Mavin Group puts a special emphasis on sustainability to bring about long-term benefits for all stakeholders, from the company itself to customers, investors, and society at large.

Responding to the call of the Government on the Net Zero goal, Mavin Group has initiatives in joining hands to protect the environment. One of the initiatives is to apply the circular economy and circular agriculture model in Mavin’s large-scale livestock farms that the Group is investing in Nghe An, Gia Lai and Dong Thap provinces.

In its production and farming activities, Mavin Group managed to minimize the carbon footprint by enhancing energy efficiency, raising the ratio of renewable energy in its demand to 10% last year, and promoting the circular model.

A Mavin livestock farm in the Central Highlands region applies the circular economic model

In 2023, Mavin Group consumed roughly 4.6 million tons of materials for its processing and farming activities, with recycled materials accounting for some 483,000 tons, or roughly 10.5%. However, the company reused up to 97% of waste of various types.

Mavin Group has been successful in ensuring 100% of its wastewater is treated to the national standard before releasing it to the environment. However, due to strict requirements for a food-related company, Mavin Group managed to reuse only 7% of its wastewater.

To successfully pursue sustainability, Mavin Group has managed to raise awareness of all leadership and workforce on the goal.

The chairman of Mavin said, “We undertake this report primarily to support Mavin Group in implementing a sustainable development strategy. We recognize that the success of this sustainable development strategy depends on how each member of Mavin understand what sustainable development entails and take specific actions.”

Since its inception in 2004 as a Vietnamese-Australian joint venture named Austfeed with an animal feed plant in the northern province of Hung Yen, Mavin Group has now strongly expanded business to include five animal feed plants, a veterinary drug plant, a food processing factory, and five pig breed farms, let alone 100 pig rearing farms in partnership with other units. Last year, Mavin Group obtained gross revenue of VND4,838 billion.

The company’s chairman reiterated that sustainability is now imperative for Mavin Group, but it does not merely follow the trend in a reactive manner. Rather, this comprehensive approach to sustainability is set to become an even more integral part of how businesses operate and compete, he said.

“As we look towards the future, it’s important for businesses like Mavin to continue to monitor these trends and adapt to them. The world is changing rapidly, and what worked yesterday might not work tomorrow. The businesses that will thrive are those that are not just reactive to change but proactive in shaping it,” said David.

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