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Consumers turn their backs on Vedan   2008-10-10 - Viet Nam Net

After hearing about Vedan’s abuse of the Thi Vai River for the last 14 years, consumers have called for a boycott of Vedan’s products. Supermarts have also refused to sell Vedan’s products at their chains as the company has been violating the principle of sustainable development.


When housewives get angry


As a reaction to the environmental destruction committed by Vedan, a lot of young girls, especially girls who work in offices, have been sending online messages to their friends, calling for a boycott of Vedan’s products.


Kim Nguyen, an office assistant, said that she has never used Vedan’s products before, and she is happy that she made the right decision. Nguyen has sent a lot of messages calling for other consumers to turn their backs on products of the producer.


The movement of saying ‘no’ to Vedan’s products has been kicked off not only among office-workers, but housewives as well. Tran Thi Huong, a housewife in HCM City, said that she was angry because of what Vedan had done to the Thi Vai River and the environment, and she decided to give up Vedan’s products.


“Saying ‘no’ to Vedan’s products is a warning to other polluting enterprises,” Huong said.


As a result of the movement, sales of Vedan’s products have decreased dramatically. Nguyet, a petty merchant at Tan Dinh market, said that she has not been able to sell Vedan seasoning powder since the news about its violations was released.


Supemarts say ‘no’ to Vedan


Most big supermarts in Hanoi, including Intimex, Fivimart and Big C, now do not sell Vedan seasoning powder anymore.


Vedan’s products were removed from the shelves of Big C and Fivimart 20 days ago. Meanwhile, Intimex said that it stopped selling Vedan’s products several years ago as the products sold slowly.


Miwon seasoning powder is still selling at supermarts, but supermarts say that the purchasing power of the products has been very modest. At Fivimart, Miwon products account for just a few percent of the total sales of seasoning powder.


Duong Thi Quynh Trang, Public Relations Manager of Big C Supermart Chain, said that right after hearing the news about Vedan, the chain decided to stop selling Vedan products.

Trang said that when signing contracts with suppliers, Big C always requires commitments on environmental protection and sustainable development from its partners. As Vedan has broken its commitments, Big C has the right to stop selling Vedan products.

The reaction by Vietnamese consumers shows that Vietnamese consumers have become more aware of the importance of environmental protection. And the boycott by consumers of Vedan’s products should be seen as a lesson for other producers.


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