Orion signed a cooperation agreement with the Institute of Agro-Biology (IAB), Vietnam National University of Agriculture (VNUA), to invest in sustainable potato development in Vietnam. The signing ceremony was held on January 25, 2024 in Hanoi.

Speaking about the direction of cooperation and investment, Mr. Jung Mun Kyo, Agriculture Director of Orion Vietnam, said that the cooperation between Orion and IAB was a representative model of cooperation between businesses and scientific research facilities. During 18 years of companionship, Orion had been working with IAB to develop quality varieties. IAB also supported Orion in connecting with cooperatives and developing more than 900 hectares of potato growing area in the North, providing technical consulting on farming and many other supports.

Through this signing event, the business wished to once again demonstrate goodwill and commitment to the homeland potato project, increase quality potato production in Vietnam and contribute to increasing income for farmers.

The agreement would be valid for 10 years with the aim of being more cohesive in performing tasks related to the production, development, supply and quality control of seed and fresh potatoes through business cooperation between two organizations.


From left to right, Mr. Park Se Yeol, General Director of Orion Food Vina Co., Prof. Pham Van Cuong, VNUA’s Vice President, and Mr. Nguyen Xuan Truong, Director of the Institute of Agro-Biology, VNUA. Photo: Orion

Since 2007, both units had been jointly investing in research to produce many high-quality, good-yielding potato varieties. Fresh potatoes were the main ingredients used by Orion in O'Star and Swing snack products. Thanks to the strategy of developing quality local raw materials, Orion conquered the market and became one of the leading potato snack manufacturers in Vietnam.

Mr. Nguyen Xuan Truong, Director of the Institute of Agro-Biology, VNUA, said that the strategic cooperation with Orion marked a new turning point after 18 years of working together to support farmers in potato farming to produce snacks.

According to Mr. Truong, when cooperating with Orion, not only did the Institute have the opportunity to develop and research many new varieties suitable for the soil characteristics of each region, but it also helped farmers grow high-yield potatoes. Farmers not only had the output guaranteed but also received support in terms of seeds, machinery and equipment during and after harvest. In particular, potatoes were a short-term crop, so a stable output was very essential for the farmers, and when Orion bought their products, farmers could avoid the situation of "good harvesting season - low price".


Representatives of Orion and IAB at the signing ceremony taking place on January 25, 2024 at the Institute of Agro-Biology (Hanoi). Photo: Orion

The collaboration between Orion and IAB promoted the creation of the Bliss potato variety, which was widely grown in the Northern regions. In the coming time, IAB and Orion Agro would promote research to create good potato varieties for farmers in the Central Highlands and Uplands.

Mr. Truong said that each hectare of potatoes that farmers cultivated to supply to Orion could earn a profit of around 70-100 million VND (depending on the region). This also showed that this cooperation opened up a stable agricultural production and sustainable development. In particular, potato cultivation brought very high efficiency to the crops grown later. Typically, after planting potatoes in the winter-spring crop, farmers did not have to use additional fertilizers for the next crop of rice but the plants still grew well, with few pests and diseases and high productivity.

Through this cooperation, IAB hoped to contribute to helping farmers expand stable raw material areas. Potatoes would be purchased at better prices. Farmers were provided with machinery and equipment, mechanization, canals, and irrigation systems towards more modern farming.


Mr. Nguyen Xuan Truong introduces seedlings with Mr. Yang Jin Han, Deputy General Director of Orion Food Vina production division. Photo: Orion

Up to now, Orion has connected and cooperated with more than 10,000 farmers in 14 provinces including Hanoi, Hai Phong, Quang Ninh, Bac Giang, Bac Ninh, Thai Nguyen, Bac Kan, Thanh Hoa, Nghe An, Ha Giang, Hai Duong , Thai Binh, Dien Bien, and Hoa Binh. In the Central Highlands, the business also cooperates with farmers in Lam Dong, Dak Lak, and Dak Nong in many forms to provide about 20,000 tons of potatoes each year for snack production.

In parallel with the orientation of developing local potato raw materials, in 2016 Orion implemented a support fund called "homeland potatoes" to help farmers improve productivity and increase income. Over the past 8 years, about 1.3 billion KRW (equivalent to 25.3 billion VND) has been donated by Orion to the Institute of Agricultural Biology and Farmers, through equipping agricultural machinery, seed research funds and scholarships for student, etc.

Orion Vina which belongs to Korean Orion Group was established in Vietnam since 2005. Orion currently operates two factories in Binh Duong and Yen Phong. With continuous operating capacity, Orion Vina is currently a supplier and serving confectionery consumer needs throughout Vietnam, as well as exporting to the world with nearly 70 product lines. In addition to the famous Chocopie, Orion also has cookies (Gouté, Marika, and deMarie, etc.), sponge cakes (Custas, C'est Bon, etc.), Snacks (O'star, Swing, and Masita, etc.) especially Orion's O'star snack has been recognized as the Top 1 potato snack brand in Vietnam, according to Nielsen data from 2016 to present. This is the result of Orion's journey of implementing the hometown potato project over the past years.