Puratos Grand-Place Vietnam and its human-centered philosophy for the sustainable development of the environment and the Earth

Puratos Grand-Place Vietnam and its human-centered philosophy for the sustainable development of the environment and the Earth.

18 Jan 2022

From the Cocoa-Trace model that elevates Vietnam's cocoa beans, which brings the farmers better incomes, to the resounding success thanks to the green bond financing of 01 billion Euro to the Cocoa-Trace sustainable development program, Puratos Grand-Place Vietnam's strategy of pursuing Carbon Neutral or Net Zero is surprisingly simple.

“BIG problems call for BIG solutions”

As of October 2019, 75% of tropical forests in the Ivory Coast area have disappeared due to excessive cocoa cultivation [1]. Agricultural pollution in recent years has become a major threat to the water source and nature around the world [2].

In the face of global climate change and the risk of production supplies’ shortage due to environmental pollution, many "big players" have long been in the race of business model transformation. From the model of benefits for a small group of shareholders only, businesses are now moving towards a model of development for the common good, not only for themselves but also for related groups including partners, the community and the Earth.

The business model only focusing on shareholders’ benefit holds that the sole purpose of a business is to generate as much profit as possible. This over-50-year-old kind of idea has become a serious “problem” now. It is among the big problems of our generation, because if businesses only focus on the interests of a small group of shareholders, they will definitely cause a series of negative impacts on the community and society.” - said Mr. Gricha Safarian, the Managing Director of Puratos Grand-Place Vietnam, a leading global enterprise in chocolate production.

A value-sharing economy is the current global trend, which is also the goal that global entrepreneurs like Puratos Grand-Place Vietnam are aiming for. “We do not refuse to share benefits with shareholders. Businesswise, the prerequisite for a business to survive is profit. However, in addition to profits for individuals, the future sustainable economy also requires reallocating some of the profits back to the environment that we have affected to exploit resources, back to farmers - the labor groups that directly create the source of raw materials, to the employees, as well as the supply chain working around the clock for the business growth.”

With more than 20 years’ experience in the food industry, and as a pioneer in the study of fermentation process & quality improvement of Vietnam's cocoa to first produced Vietnam chocolate bars (Vietnam Origin Chocolate) in the period 2008-2010, proudly bringing Vietnamese chocolate to the world-class, Puratos Grand-Place Vietnam is regarded as one of the foundation-laying entities to the development of the cocoa industry in Vietnam. However, the big player does not consider the activities in the business’ sustainable development orientation as a charity work or a Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) activity. These activities, built by Puratos Grand Place Vietnam, originate from the changes within the business and partner groups. In particular, the first core value is high-quality solutions and products - balancing the health benefits of customers and users, without adversely affecting nature and the environment. Along comes a sustainable ecosystem that not only serves the development of businesses, but also embraces the participation of the smallest "cells" - including associates, partners, farmers, supply chain members and future generations.

Sharing the same big heart towards the environment and the planet, today's businesses also create a revolutionary wave of "Empowering people’s development freedom."

According to Mr. Gricha, “the two core factors that bring about the development of any business, which are also the factors that contribute to the remarkable success of Puratos Grand-Place Vietnam in recent years, lie in the strategy to perform all tasks uniformly in all aspects, and most importantly, in People - the team that directly turns the strategy into reality.''

Cacao-Trace: Vietnamese cocoa beans’ elevation is not only for business profits

In terms of strategy, it is enterprises like Puratos Grand-Place Vietnam that have been pioneering in providing countries with sustainable development, thereby joining hands to multiply their influence and impact on member businesses in the ecosystem, supporting the government in its long-term goals.

In August 2021, the global enterprise Puratos Group received a green bond financing of up to 1 billion Euro from the World Bank for the Cocoa-Trace sustainable development program. This revolutionary model is built on the simple and highly enforceable strategy of “Value Creation & Value Sharing” of the corporate. In such orientation, in November 2021, Puratos Grand-Place Vietnam became the first enterprise in the Puratos Group, headquartered in more than 60 countries and territories, to obtain the carbon neutral certificate - Net Zero.

With Cocoa-Trace program, Puratos Grand-Place Vietnam accompanies farmers to increase the yield and quality of cocoa beans, to consume wet beans at competitive prices to compared with the market. The company also focuses on processing wet beans following a strict fermentation process in wooden barrels at cocoa bean purchasing centers, which creates the premise to produce chocolate products with outstanding quality (Creating Value).

Presently, Chocolante and Grand Palace branded chocolate products are well-received by domestic and international markets with higher value. As a result, businesses can directly connect consumers with farmers through the "Chocolate Bonus" program. For every kilogram of Cocoa-Trade certified chocolate sold on the market, ten cents (VND 2,300) will be put into the Next Generation Cocoa fund and distributed to farmers twice a year. The Chocolate Bonus of up to VND 2.4 billion in 2021 partly helps cocoa farmers to make a betting living and invest in cultivating development (Sharing Value).

In the same year, Puratos Grand-Place Vietnam contributes more than 7,000 trees in Lam Dong and Dak Lak areas. This is a way of "reinvesting" in the Earth and the environment while improving the income of farmers participating in the project, which helps to stabilize their lives so that farmers can confidently continue to cultivate cocoa.

Put trust in people and empower them to develop

From the responsible cocoa beans production and consumption activities, to the reduction of impacts on environment and community development, all layers of Puratos Grand-Place Vietnam ‘s corporate development strategy are separated and built into a long-term project, in order to facilitate each specific group to receive the best benefits, and at the same time "empower individuals ‘development".

“For Puratos Grand-Place Vietnam, the first effort for sustainable development comes from a people-oriented effort.”

“The job of a leader is to bring visions to their associates and convince them to have a companionship towards a higher purpose - the sustainable development of the business. There are times when your associates are not convinced by the long-term strategy, and that's when the leader needs to be patient and continue to listen - solve – persuade with great consitency". For Mr. Gricha Safarian, Puratos Grand-Place Vietnam has been built up this far thanks to the "Convince- Consent - Commit" spirit of each unit - from senior management to coordinating and operating staffs.

In this year of 2022, the company's vocational school for the bakery industry (Bakery School) will also officially come into operation, the project not only gives educational tools to disadvantaged children and the community but also commits to output employment and a developed environment. This is Puratos Grand-Place Vietnam's priority principle of "empowering development" instead of plainly doing charity.

Sustainable development is not a one business’ story

Embracing a great vision of Puratos Grand-Place Vietnam's community impact to create real changes in Vietnam and globally, this entrepreneur who came to Vietnam in the early 90s continues to spread the inspiration with his revolutionary breakthrough ideas.

Beyond the missionary of an enterprise, in the next 03-05 years, Puratos Grand-Place Vietnam aims to achieve a bigger and longer-term goal: to replicate the goal of Carbon Neutral and Net Zero to enterprises in the food production industry, and at the same time create new standards to more accurately evaluate sustainable values as an aspect to evaluate business quality.

“The corporate carbon neutrality goal is just the first step in our long-term growth plan. Although Puratos Grand-Place Vietnam has come a long way to become the pioneer in Vietnam to achieve this certification, our chocolate products are not 100% Carbon Neutral yet. Therefore, in the next 2 years, we aim to be the first company in the world to supply and distribute Carbon neutral chocolate bars (also known as Net Zero) to the market.