I am confident about what we are doing now. We are growing in the right way

22 feb 2022

Ms Tiên was born in the Mekong, where she lived with her grandmother. She now lives in Ho Chi Minh City and is the first farmer in the family. The De Heus office is located just 10 minutes from her home. However, her farm is quite a distance from the city (45 km) to which she commutes every day. “Most farmers live close to their farms in the countryside,” she says. But Ms Tiên prefers the hustle and bustle of city.

Ms Tiên

From exporter to farmer

“I’ve always wanted to have a small farm. But my friend - who works for CP, a big agricultural company in Vietnam - inspired me to start my own white broiler chicken farm. Before this, I had my own furniture export business. One day I decided to close my office in Saigon and start the farm. In 2007, I started with nothing, just a field with some trees.”

From 30,000 to 100,000 chicks

“When I launched the business, I was young and didn’t have a lot of money. I began with only 30,000 chicks but I had to sell my land. The rest I borrowed from the bank. And gradually I built the business. I worried a lot over the first 2 years. I worked on the farm with my cousin and one employee, and I had a room there where I could stay. We were lucky - the chickens did well and were healthy. In six months, I increased to 60,000 chicks. After that I demolished everything and built a new farm which could hold 100,000 chicks. And that was in my fifth year!”

The switch to De Heus

Ms Tiên has been working with De Heus since 2017. “My best friend also introduced me to De Heus. He’d always been very happy with his partnership with the company. At the time, I had been working with a Malaysian company for 10 years, but I decided to come and talk to De Heus and see how they worked. De Heus takes a very straightforward approach and I felt I could trust them. So, I decided to switch.”

New way of working

“De Heus works in a different way. Not just for me, but for every farmer here in Vietnam. The system works differently. One of our Japanese customers is very strict, so we need a system and programme for how to look after our animals – how to apply and control the use of antibiotics. I like the technical part, especially with respect to animal welfare. This is what I like to focus on. Because a lot of companies are still doing what I did ten years ago. I think it’s very important to improve chicken health and reduce the use of antibiotics. So, there were many reasons why I started working with De Heus.”

Meet the requirements

“During the first five months working with De Heus, it took some time getting used to the new approach. We needed to change some of the things we did. The vet helped us with some elements. It wasn’t very hard, we just had to follow the instructions. The hardest part was the concentrate and being really consistent. We needed to change our medicine. It was very simple in a way – De Heus and our Japanese customer checked our quality. If it didn’t meet up to their checklists, it all stopped.”

Things have changed

“One thing I love about DH is that they look after farmers very well. Every year, they take farmers to Thailand for an international convention where technologies from all over the world are demonstrated. I’ve been every year and learned so much. I also read and learn from Europe – how to grow, how to build a farm, etc. Just two years ago, I totally transformed one of my farms into a very modern farm. Almost a European farm. I bought the system, controller, basically everything from Denmark.”

Confident about the future

This year, Ms Tiên is remodelling a second farm to the same standards. “I am rebuilding it with De Heus. Five floors. With space for 450,000 chicks on this farm. De Heus gives me support about raising the chicks. I don’t worry about the future in terms of business. The population is growing every day. I believe that farms must expand to be able to supply the needs of that population. I am confident about what we are doing now. We are growing in the right way. “