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Demand spikes for Highlands veggies

Update: February, 07/2013 - 00:00

Her first club, named Doi Rat Dep (Life Is Very Beautiful), was a simple, thatched-roof structure, where people with disabilities would share jokes, sing and talk until the late hours.

HCM CITY (VNS)— The Anh Dao Clean Vegetable Co-operative in Da Lat produces about 120 tonnes of vegetables a day. Traditionally, most of the tomatoes, bell peppers, cucumbers and lettuce are shipped to the South. But this year, as rumours swirl about unsafe imports from China, half of the vegetables will go to Northern provinces.

Demand has surged so much as the Lunar New Year approaches that the co-operative could only fill 80 per cent of the last few days' orders, even though shipments to markets have increased by 20 per cent, Nguyen Cong Thua, the co-operative's chairman, told Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper.

Duong Ngoc Duc, head of the the Da Lat People's Committee's Economic Division, said consumption of safe vegetables from Da Lat was also increasing in central provinces. This represented a major shift, as these markets had previously been dominated by vegetables imported from China.

Low prices were no longer the main criteria for vegetable consumers, said Tran Duc Quang, chairman of the Xuan Huong Clean Vegetable Co-operative, one of the first co-operatives in Da Lat to sell vegetables to the North. Rather, people were increasingly concerned about agricultural practices.

Reflecting this transformation, he said, the grower's Northern trading partners frequently imposed strict requirements such as the mandatory labeling of shipments with producers or suppliers' logos. — VNS

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