Cooperative chief makes Cao Phong oranges known nationwide

(VOVWORLD) - Vu Thi Le Thuy, Director of the Cao Phong 3T Agricultural Product Cooperative, is an outstanding agricultural role model in Cao Phong town, Hoa Binh province. Hard-working and creative, Thuy started a business growing and trading oranges, and eventually established the 3T Farm brand.

Cooperative chief makes Cao Phong oranges known nationwide   - ảnh 1Vu Thi Le Thuy, Director of the Cao Phong 3T Agricultural Product Cooperative (Photo: Ngoc Anh)

Thuy was born in 1983 in Nam Dinh province. In 2006, her family moved to Cao Phong town in Hoa Binh province. Looking for a way to increase her family’s income, Thuy realized that Cao Phong oranges were of good quality but commanded low prices because growing and selling the fruit was poorly organized. Thuy came up with the idea of building a brand for Cao Phong oranges.

“In 2016, I established the Thanh Thuy safe citrus fruit group. Two years later, I founded the Cao Phong 3T Agricultural Product Cooperative. Cao Phong oranges are highly regarded for their quality, but consumers only buy them to eat at home, not as gifts. I thought of a way to increase the value of the fruit. The 3T Farm Cooperative targets higher-income customers. We aim to make Cao Phong oranges more competitive than imported products and other branded domestic fruits,” Thuy said.

3T Farm also produces orange marmalade, orange powder, chrysanthemum tea, male papaya flower tea, and butterfly pea flower tea. Thuy worked with Hanoi University of Natural Sciences on a post-harvest processing chain to expand the scale of production, increase productivity, and create jobs for locals. All members of the 3T Farm Cooperative including Luong Van Thao have a stable income.

“3T Farm Cooperative purchases the products of its members and ensures stable prices. We also receive fertilizer subsidies, reducing our costs. On average, one hectare produces 18–20 tons of oranges. We sell oranges to the 3T Farm Cooperative at a price of 1.5 USD per kilo,” said Thao.

In 2019, the Cooperative was one of 35 winners in a Women’s Creative Startup Competition organized by the Vietnam Women’s Union, for their project on organic orange farming for a green living environment. In 2020, 3T Farm’s oranges were certified as a four-star OCOP product. The same year, Thuy opened a farm tourism service called “Experience tourism – My home’s orange trees”. In 2021, Thuy and the Women's Union of Cao Phong Town won second prize in the contest "Women joining hands to restore the ecosystem".

Thuy is very active in the work of the Women's Union, sharing her experience in growing citrus trees to help local women develop their own businesses.

“The 3T Farm Cooperative has 15 members from 3 ethnic groups  – Kinh, Muong, and Dao. We give priority to creating jobs for women and working with farmers. I think that developing the economy and creating livelihoods right where we live is meaningful,” Thuy said.

Cooperative chief makes Cao Phong oranges known nationwide   - ảnh 2The orange garden of a 3T Farm cooperative member. (Photo: Ngoc Anh) 

Thuy is a leader in social work in her locality. She cooperated with the ASEAN Business Club to set up a “zero dong store” in Dung Phong commune, which is open every Sunday morning to give disadvantaged ethnic people free essential goods.

“Thuy actively participates in social activities to help the poor. Since the establishment of 3T Farm Cooperative, she has helped many local people develop agricultural production, especially growing orange trees. She also did a lot of research to boost the sale of Cao Phong oranges and promote orange products nationwide,” Nguyen Thuy Vinh, Deputy Head of the Cao Phong district Ethnicity Section, said. 

The 3T Farm Cooperative now has 21 hectares of cultivated land that produces 350 tons of oranges each year. 3T Farm products are available in many provinces and cities nationwide, including Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City.