On 22th November 2021, Ms. Tran Huyen Nhung, Head of Communications – Chairwoman of Corporate Responsibility Activities/ Board member of BeluxCham represented Merck Family Foundation, funded exclusively by the private foundations of the Merck family, to donate €100,000 to EuroCham’s “Breathe Again Vietnam” campaign to support Vietnam in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.
The donation from the Merck Family Foundation will be used to buy N95 masks, PPE protective clothing for healthcare professionals and frontline medical staff fighting the epidemic.
Along with that, this donation will be used to buy essential medical equipment with international quality standards of the Ministry of Health such as non-invasive ventilators, PCR testing machines, autoclaves, syringes, etc. incubators for infants.
Accordingly, a total of 16 hospitals in 5 provinces will be supported by this contribution from Merck. In which, 9 hospitals in Ho Chi Minh City include: Hospital Trung Vuong, Thong Nhat, Oncology, Cho Ray, Tu Du, Children 2, An Binh, Hung Vuong and Nguyen Tri Phuong Hospital.
Four hospitals in Hanoi include Viet Duc Hospital, Bach Mai Hospital, National Hospital of Textile and Garment, and National Endocrinology. Some hospitals in other provinces include An Giang Heart Hospital, Can Tho Obstetrics Hospital and Da Nang Hospital.
Geuther is a privately invested Belgian Company that started operations in early 2020, just before the Covid-19. Geuther designs, develops, and manufactures wooden and steel baby furniture for large brands in over 35 countries. Around 250 passionate wood experts produce everything from highchairs, stair gates, playpens, cribs, changing tables, …
Starting operations just before the pandemic was already a challenge but surviving without a single positive case during the complete lockdown was almost a miracle. How did we achieve this and what are the key learnings?
1. Navigate through the lack of information available from Authorities
We observed in May-June what was happening in the North and heard from AkzoNobel Commercial Director Maximilen Schréder that Authorities had asked them to stay inside the factory to avoid any virus spread. After exchanging with other factory owners, we decided to
- increase our stock level of raw material and semi-finished products to have enough when suppliers would have to close
- build showers, add toilets, buy tents and prepare the logistics to feed our staff
- prepare all staff mentally for such a move
We locked 200 staff inside the factory starting 5. July at a time when Authorities In Binh Duong were not able to approve such a move. This was 2 weeks before the Authorities made such a move compulsory
2. Team spirit and the role of managers
The first week was fun, everyone was positive. Some started building a table tennis table with spare material, others built a body-building station or for the less health-conscious a smoking relaxing area, some played badminton, went jogging around the factory, … As time passed, first workers started to complain about the food, about the temperature, … and some wanted to go home as well, especially when hearing from other factories where almost all had gotten the virus.
The role of managers was key in this situation, especially the HR and the team leaders in the factory. They spent hundreds of hours talking with the workers, explaining how lucky they were to be safe and have a job, added some changes to the menu, bought extra fans, arranged online doctor consultations … They organized every weekend special events, cooking classes, game competitions. I became a French teacher for a while!
We of course lost some workers but ended the stay-in on 23. October with 190 staff.
The whole management team also stayed in the factory, including 2 ex-pats, leading their team by showing the example
3. Contribute to the community
Geuther contributed to the Binh Duong Covid fund and had multiple contacts with Authorities and local hospitals to see how we could help. We donated cribs to one hospital where orphans were sleeping on the floor. Our staff produced changing mats in their free time and many workers offered to donate part of their salaries to help those in need. Amazing to see such a community spirit which at the same gave a purpose to their work
Last Saturday, everyone finally went back home and this Monday, 50 more workers who were not able to stay in will be back at work. A unique experience, sometimes misunderstood in the West, but an experience that has forged friendships, respect, and strong bonds among all.
In the morning of 17 April 2021, Board Members of BeluxCham including Mr. Bart Verheyen – Chairman, Mrs. Bopha Sem – Vice-Chairwoman in Ho Chi Minh and Mr. Tom Tabouring- Board Member have attended the Grand Opening Ceremony Hi-Tech Poultry Hatchery of one of BeluxCham’s member Bel Gà at Tay Ninh. The factory is part of the supply chain of clean, sustainable, and export-oriented agricultural products belonging to Bel Ga Company, De Heus Group, Hung Nhon Group and strategic Partners.
Bel Gà is a Belgium market leader with more than 80 years of experience in producing premium day-old chicks in Europe.
Established in Vietnam since 2013, Bel Ga currently has 4 hatcheries and 2 incubation factories with a modern self-contained farming process according to GlobalG.A.P standards, providing more than 35 million premium day-old chicks for the Vietnam & Cambodia Market every year.
Belga Tay Ninh poultry incubation factory has a total investment of 200 billion VND, with a total area of 15,000 m2 and the design capacity of over 19 million chicks per year in the phase I and will expand the capacity up to 38,4 million chicks per year in the phase II.
The main products of the factory are day-old chicks and day-old layers, of the best quality to meet the demand of famers in Vietnamese and Cambodian markets.
Bel Chicken breeders are sourced from the world’s leading breeding companies, Aviagen and Hendrix Genetics, which are hatched using the most advanced modern European technology. Bel Ga Tay Ninh factory is considered as a unique factory model with the application of many advances in technical innovations of construction design, including facilities for farms and hatcheries which meets the European standards, thanks to the support of leading experts and technicians in the world.
All technologies used in the factory are applied management techniques that uses information technology systems to ensure the efficiency and accuracy of the information in the production process, and at the same time investing in modern production machinery and equipment such as:
Embryo-Response Incubation, manufactured by Petersime Belgium, With the OvoScan ™ system the incubator temperature is continuously adjusted according to the actual eggshell temperature.
Co2 concentration management: Accurate maintenance of CO2 levels throughout the incubation cycle has a positive effect on the development of the circulatory system of the embryo.
Energy management produced by Petersime, Belgium. Eco-Drive ™ helps to reduce the energy consumption of the engine pulses during the less critical stages of the incubation process.
Petersime’s pressure control system allows for the regulation of the amount of air circulating in different areas of the incubation plant.
Monitoring and control produced by Petersime, Belgium: Petersime’s Eagle EyeTM surveillance system is a package of software programs that monitors and controls the entire incubation process from a central host computer station: an incubator, room ambient conditions, water temperature, air circulation system parameters etc.
Biostreamer: This series uses Biostreamer Re-Store technology, this new technique in short incubation, allowing to maintain a higher incubation rate and better embryo vitality when storing eggs for a long time.
The day-old-chicks products of Bel Ga Tay Ninh will ensure the highest standards according to GlobalG.A.P standards through the management and strict control of biosafety in livestock and the production, quality monitoring of incubation eggs and GP farms with low stocking densities, combined with effective temperature control through modern incubation machines helpful in the creation of an optimal environment to ensure that the best 1-day-old chicks are always produced and traceable throughout the entire production chain.