Vietnam National Seed Corporation (Vinaseed) began in 1968 as a state-owned enterprise. In 2015, it became a publicly listed subsidiary of the PAN Group, an agribusiness investment company, which acquired 80% ownership. Vinaseed is a key part of the PAN Group's agricultural segment and has received funding from the International Finance Corporation. Vinaseed is engaged in the research, breeding, production and marketing of field crop and vegetable varieties alongside its subsidiary Southern Seed Company (SSC).
Plant breeding activities in index region Vinaseed has both its own breeding programme and collaborative research activities in Vietnam. The company also indicates that it invests in the capacity building of its research staff through training initiatives with leading plant breeders in the country.
Stakeholder engagement Vinaseed undertakes stakeholder engagement with trade associations including the Asia and Pacific Seed Association (APSA), the Vietnam-Laos-Cambodia Association for Economic Cooperation Development and the Vietnam Seed Trade Association (VUSTA). However, the company could disclose an overview of issues raised through these engagement activities, as well as how it identifies its most relevant stakeholders.
The company provides limited insight into its position and activities related to genetic resources and intellectual property management. As it is important that seed companies contribute to genetic resources and intellectual property management that supports smallholder agriculture, the company could provide more insights into its activities for others to learn from.
Developing improved varieties of global and local crops While the company has twelve global vegetable crops and local crops yardlong bean, amaranth and mustard in its product portfolio, it could disclose more specific information regarding its breeding activities, and whether these crops were developed as part of its own breeding programme or licensed from another company or source.
Local participation in breeding/variety development and variety testing The company does not disclose whether it uses feedback from local consumers, traders and smallholder farmers to inform its breeding programme or whether it conducts variety trials in index countries.
Seed production activities in index region The company has seed production activities in Vietnam, where it engages a network of more than 10,000 contract farmers throughout Vietnam to grow seeds sold under the Vinaseed brand. However, it has an opportunity to expand its seed production to other countries in the region.
Social and labour rights in seed production Through its parent company PAN Group, Vinaseed prohibits child labour and forced labour, as outlined in the company’s code of conduct. In addition, it indicates that the majority of its labour is protected by a health and safety management system. However, the company has an opportunity to disclose how it regularly monitors compliance with these social standards across its seed production. Furthermore, the company does not disclose whether it pays its workers a living wage or requires its intermediaries to do so.
Diverse portfolio While the company offers four or more varieties for one third of the crops in its portfolio in Vietnam, it could offer more varieties per crop for the other crops in its portfolio.
Other agricultural inputs Vinaseed makes other agricultural inputs available, including fertilizers, fungicides and herbicides. The company offers the products in appropriate quantities for smallholder farmers. However, the company could disclose whether it promotes the sustainable use of other agricultural inputs through instructions on its packaging.