Vietnam – Blueyou Trading
Blueyou Trading’s sustainable fisheries
Blueyou Trading was founded to close the gap between supply and demand in the market for sustainable fish. The Swiss firm discovered that demand for sustainable fish was high and that enough fish were being caught sustainably. However, because the fish was not traceable or certified, it could not be sold as such to market parties from the US or Europe. As a result, Blueyou started a trading company dealing in certified, sustainably fished Selva shrimp from Vietnam. Soon the company began seeking capital to expand their operations. As a Swiss company, they could not apply for local financing in Vietnam, and Swiss banks considered the financing of such a small, innovative company too risky.
Rural Fund lays the foundation
The mission of Blueyou Trading appealed to Rabo Rural Fund, and in 2015 it extended Blueyou a trade loan. This year that support has been increased, with half of Blueyou’s new investments gaining funding from Rabobank Foundation. The firm base offered by this support from Rabobank will enable Blueyou Trading to grow further in the coming years.
The impact on fishermen
The 3,240 fishermen in Vietnam with whom Blueyou Trading works are part of a relatively poor demographic. Blueyou Trading has enabled these fishermen to gain access to international markets for sustainable fish. The fishermen are certified, and because they work in a demonstrably sustainable way, they are able to command a premium over normal prices, which boosts their income. The fishermen also receive training in the use of improved techniques and methods for cutting waste.
Sustainable food production
Blueyou prioritizes the preservation of the mangrove forests where the fish are caught. In the past, the fishermen cut down the mangrove forests. Now the local population recognises their economic value and protects them. Together with the Rural Fund, Blueyou Trading wants to scale up this model in order to increase the supply of sustainable fish. In this way Rabobank is contributing to the development of new techniques for sustainable food production.