ProFound consultant Robbie Hogervorst visited Vietnam as part of the Export Potential Assessment for the Regional BioTrade project in Southeast Asia with Helvetas Swiss Intercooperation. At the end of last year, we identified promising BioTrade products from Vietnam, Lao PDR and Myanmar, by assessing their export potential. BioTrade is defined as the trade of products that are native to a country and maintain or enrich its biodiversity.


In Vietnam, Robbie and the local Helvetas team verified the outcomes of this research. The team talked to companies and other stakeholders, such as government institutions, through individual interviews and a roundtable.

“During the verification mission we identified the need for sustainable sourcing practices in Vietnam. On the one hand, this is an important market requirement in Europe and the USA. On the other hand, it can add value to the product and tackle social, environmental and economic issues.”  – Robbie Hogervorst, ProFound consultant.

The first days of his mission Robbie joined the local Helvetas team on visits to several production and processing sites of cassia, star anise and sea grape. They also interviewed public institutions, including a research institute and local government agency. Robbie supported the team in identifying specific bottlenecks in these supply chains and their impact on the BioTrade sector in Vietnam.

At the roundtable, a range of players in the BioTrade/Natural Ingredients sector were invited. The team presented the initial research outcomes of the fieldwork. The participants discussed the main issues and identified missing products and bottlenecks in the sector. The conclusions of the Export Potential Assessment will be used as a baseline for the development of the Regional BioTrade project in Vietnam.