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Traditional vs. Modern Food Systems? Insights from Vegetable Supply Chains to Ho Chi Minh City (Vietnam)


  • Jean-Joseph Cadilhon
  • Paule Moustier
  • Nigel D. Poole
  • Phan Thi Giac Tam
  • Andrew P. Fearne


This article describes the development of vegetable marketing in Ho Chi Minh City (Vietnam), where modern distribution outlets are competing fiercely with traditional traders for wholesale and retail customers. Data from interviews with supply chain stakeholders and a survey of vegetable wholesalers have been used to compare the performance of modern and traditional chains, and the findings reveal the chains as segmented in their product focus, the modern sector focusing exclusively on quality. Modern marketing channels are generally more efficient than traditional ones but still account for only around 2% of vegetable distribution. The article argues that policy-makers should not promote the 'modernisation' of food systems at the expense of traditional channels which meet important consumer needs. Copyright 2006 Overseas Development Institute.

Suggested Citation

  • Jean-Joseph Cadilhon & Paule Moustier & Nigel D. Poole & Phan Thi Giac Tam & Andrew P. Fearne, 2006. "Traditional vs. Modern Food Systems? Insights from Vegetable Supply Chains to Ho Chi Minh City (Vietnam)," Development Policy Review, Overseas Development Institute, vol. 24(1), pages 31-49, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:devpol:v:24:y:2006:i:1:p:31-49

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Joshua C. Gellers, 2016. "Crowdsourcing global governance: sustainable development goals, civil society, and the pursuit of democratic legitimacy," International Environmental Agreements: Politics, Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 16(3), pages 415-432, June.
    2. Emily Boyd & Natasha Grist & Sirkku Juhola & Valerie Nelson, 2009. "Exploring Development Futures in a Changing Climate: Frontiers for Development Policy and Practice," Development Policy Review, Overseas Development Institute, vol. 27(6), pages 659-674, November.
    3. J. Warren Evans & Robin Davies, 2015. "Too Global to Fail : The World Bank at the Intersection of National and Global Public Policy in 2025," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 20603.
    4. William Easterly, 2002. "The cartel of good intentions: The problem of bureaucracy in foreign aid," Journal of Economic Policy Reform, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 5(4), pages 223-250.
    5. José Antonio Ocampo & Natalie Gómez-Arteaga, 2016. "Accountability in International Governance and the 2030 Development Agenda," Global Policy, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 7(3), pages 305-314, September.
    6. Gert Spaargaren & Peter Oosterveer, 2010. "Citizen-Consumers as Agents of Change in Globalizing Modernity: The Case of Sustainable Consumption," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 2(7), pages 1-22, June.
    7. Robin Davies & Jonathan Pickering, 2015. "Making Development Co-operation Fit for the Future: A Survey of Partner Countries," OECD Development Co-operation Working Papers 20, OECD Publishing.
    8. Goran Hyden, 2008. "After the Paris Declaration: Taking on the Issue of Power," Development Policy Review, Overseas Development Institute, vol. 26(3), pages 259-274, May.
    9. Deepa Narayan & Robert Chambers & Meera K. Shah & Patti Petesch, 2000. "Voices of the Poor : Crying Out for Change," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 13848.
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    Cited by:

    1. Minten, Bart & Reardon, Thomas & Sutradhar, Rajib, 2010. "Food Prices and Modern Retail: The Case of Delhi," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 38(12), pages 1775-1787, December.
    2. Gorton, Matthew & Sauer, Johannes & Supatpongkul, Pajaree, 2009. "Investigating Thai Shopping Behaviour: Wet-Markets, Supermarkets and Food Quality," 83rd Annual Conference, March 30-April 1, 2009, Dublin, Ireland 51054, Agricultural Economics Society.
    3. Gómez, Miguel I. & Ricketts, Katie D., 2013. "Food value chain transformations in developing countries: Selected hypotheses on nutritional implications," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 42(C), pages 139-150.
    4. repec:gam:jsusta:v:9:y:2017:i:10:p:1683-:d:112712 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Mergenthaler, Marcus & Weinberger, Katinka & Qaim, Matin, 2009. "The food system transformation in developing countries: A disaggregate demand analysis for fruits and vegetables in Vietnam," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 34(5), pages 426-436, October.
    6. Grace, Delia & Roesel, Kristina & Kang'ethe, Erastus & Bonfoh, Bassirou & Theis, Sophie, 2015. "Gender roles and food safety in 20 informal livestock and fish value chains:," IFPRI discussion papers 1489, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    7. Masayoshi Maruyama & Le Viet Trung, 2011. "Modern Retailers in Transition Economies: The Case of Vietnam," Discussion Paper Series DP2011-08, Research Institute for Economics & Business Administration, Kobe University.
    8. Herforth, Nico & Theuvsen, Ludwig & Vásquez, Wilson & Wollni, Meike, 2015. "Understanding participation in modern supply chains under a social network perspective – evidence from blackberry farmers in the Ecuadorian Andes," Discussion Papers 197709, Georg-August-Universitaet Goettingen, GlobalFood, Department of Agricultural Economics and Rural Development.
    9. Mergenthaler, Marcus & Weinberger, Katinka & Qaim, Matin, 2009. "The role of consumers’ perceptions in the valuation of food safety and convenience attributes of vegetables in Vietnam," 2009 Conference, August 16-22, 2009, Beijing, China 51629, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
    10. Lorentz, Harri & Kittipanya-ngam, Pichawadee & Singh Srai, Jagjit, 2013. "Emerging market characteristics and supply network adjustments in internationalising food supply chains," International Journal of Production Economics, Elsevier, vol. 145(1), pages 220-232.

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