Who is behind SOFF?
SOFF is a project by Rikolto in Vietnam (previously VECO Vietnam) funded by Rikolto International and the Belgian Development Cooperation.
Rikolto is an international NGO with more than 40 years of experience in partnering with farmer organisations and food chain actors across Africa, Asia, Europe and Latin America. Active in 15 countries, our activities are carried out by eight regional offices worldwide, including Rikolto in Vietnam. Globally, we work with 134 partner organisations, reaching over 80,000 farmer families.
Initially supported by a grant of Rikolto International’s Innovation Fund, SOFF is now part of Rikolto’s 5-year programme in Vietnam named “Supporting Inclusive and Sustainable Agricultural Value Chain Development Benefitting Smallholder Farmers in Vietnam”. The objectives of this programme are to ensure that farmers can make a good income from selling their produce, that consumers have access to safe and quality food, and that our food systems do not burden the planet more than it can bear.
In July 2016, VECO/Rikolto conducted a survey on consumers’ purchasing habits, concerns and preferences on vegetable consumption. We found out that over 95% of respondents were worried about food safety and that consumers have generally low knowledge of and trust in safe vegetable stores. The survey also indicated that only 10% of respondents are very familiar with safe vegetables stores while 25% are quite familiar. Finally, 55% of respondents claimed that limited information on where to buy trustable safe and organic vegetables was one of the reasons why they were not buying more of them.
SOFF aims to address this lack of knowledge and trust by providing consumers with transparent and regularly updated information about S/OV stores.
SOFF has two main purposes: helping consumers find stores that sell safe and organic vegetables in a location that is convenient for them and educating citizens about food safety and sustainable consumption. These two objectives serve our overall goal of supporting improved consumption of safe vegetables in Hanoi.