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Organic rice fields and the journey of overcoming difficulties to bring rice to people

Black Swan is the word many people use to refer to the social crisis event when the COVID-19 epidemic broke out. Many businesses fell into difficult situations, some had to close. As an essential goods business with headquarters, warehouses and main markets right at the center of the stressful epidemic, Ong Tho Rice (GOT) is certainly not outside the affected area.

2021 is the first year that businesses deploy organic raw material areas, requiring officials and experts to continuously go on field inspections as well as put organic farming fields on the growing area map. Soil and water samples are collected for testing. In May 2021, the first cases appeared in Saigon, marking an outbreak, which was also the time when businesses were deploying many cultivation areas in raw material areas in the Ca Mau peninsula.

In mid-June 2021, the epidemic started to break out strongly, which was the time when GOT  needed to negotiate with farmers about organic rice areas, which was also the time when other raw material areas were sown in the summer-autumn crop and the rice was green. Direct contact with farmers, project implementation staff as well as experts must be limited to ensure the risk of disease transmission is minimized. Deployment activities were changed from face-to-face to online. GOT immediately planned and discussed with experts as well as convinced local authorities to support farmers in using the Zoom meeting tool.

(A meeting via Zoom of Ong Tho Rice, implementation experts with farmers and the government)

After more than a week, local officials, along with the support and guidance efforts of remote enterprise personnel, have completed the installation and proficient use of Zoom meetings for organic farmers and a small number of farmers. belongs to a safe farming area. Training sessions on farming techniques and farming processes are continuously conducted via Zoom to ensure the project does not delay the crop.

On July 9, the COVID-19 epidemic entered a stressful period in Saigon, Directive 16 was applied in Saigon, which was also the time when the demand for rice storage among the people peaked. However, the goods businesses bring to the market are entering a difficult period due to many anti-epidemic barriers. Business leaders must meet quickly, provide quick information, and provide continuous direction to be able to transfer goods from factories in the Western provinces to Ho Chi Minh City, solve the needs of stores, and contribute a small part to solving the problem. Essential food for people in Ho Chi Minh City, Southeast provinces, and Northern provinces, avoiding local shortages in the distribution enterprise system.

GOT's raw material areas are entering harvest season. Rice weighers, boats and vehicles continuously reported that they could not reach the harvest area. If the cut rice is not processed promptly, it will be damaged and the damage will be significant. The enterprise's leadership continuously handled and coordinated many means, and at the same time relied on the intervention of local authorities and the agricultural product rescue working group 970 of the Ministry of Agriculture. From morning to night, from day to day, from area to area when the harvest season begins, these are the days when the enterprise's personnel live in a state of extreme stress, those in charge of purchasing Unable to bear the great pressure, he applied to quit his job. However, GOT management remained calm and worked together to solve the problem to restore balance for its personnel. Working in a high-pressure, continuous and prolonged environment, thanks to the inspiration of GOT's leadership, all GOT employees worked with a fighting spirit, overcoming difficulties even when caught in trouble. blockade area.

Rice boats were weighed by Ong Tho Rice Enterprise in the summer-autumn crop of 2021 - August 28, 2021, a time of intense epidemic)

At the same time, the need to buy rice from volunteer groups is very large in SG and the Southeast provinces. Meanwhile, transport vehicles, including rice trucks, were blocked at the gateway to Ho Chi Minh City. Rice prices in epidemic areas have been pushed up. GOT, along with its factory partners and familiar traders, decided to use every means and relationship to bring rice to Western farmers in the fastest time and at the cheapest price to support farmers. people who are losing their jobs in boarding houses and cannot return to their hometowns in Saigon and the Southeast provinces. GOT came up with the idea of printing different packaging to sell to charity rice trips with the image of two swallows flying, also a message to convey faith and hope for a good return to life. Because the swallow is always a symbol of spring, "the season of happy emotions when spring comes".
Enterprises overcome difficulties for the second time - maintaining development production plans in the context of personnel contracting COVID-19.

(The pace of rice carts is continuously divided into the central area of ​​SG - July 29, 2021)

(The pace of rice carts is continuously divided into the central area of ​​SG - July 29, 2021)
In August 2021, the epidemic in SG fell out of control, which was also the time when the company's personnel appeared F0 with the source of infection from the warehouse keeper's son. This is a rather surprising situation because the business's epidemic prevention plans focus on delivery staff (who are considered to have the highest risk of infection). The entire staff was in low spirits with an all-encompassing fear of illness. However,  the Enterprise Board of Directors has also drawn up  a scenario for this situation. Regaining calm, the leadership created the group "GOT SUPPORT OVERCOME COVID". A quick plan was created for personnel who did not test positive to support those who tested positive. Large OXYGEN tanks were stockpiled by the business's leadership before the unexpected stress epidemic occurred. Volunteer doctors were invited by the management board to advise and monitor each employee. The Board of Directors announced their decision to support up to the end of treatment costs. The support funds were immediately transferred to the employee's account to ensure life for at least 1 month of quarantine, causing all employees to regain their high spirits after just a few hours. Businesses had to temporarily suspend operations at transit warehouses for disinfection, but rice at processing factories was continuously sent to the retail market to reach people. Dan En GOT continues to handle operations from the factory to the market. After disinfection, the warehouse at SG reopened and hired more outsourced personnel. Work continues continuously even during the days of f0 treatment. Fortunately, the entire f0 of GOT is mostly asymptomatic or only mildly symptomatic. Work plans are constantly changing to adapt to the business's personnel situation and the government's epidemic prevention regulations.

The prolonged epidemic has exhausted volunteer teams and philanthropists. To cope with the blockade, a plan to support workers who lost their jobs was launched by the management. Volunteer rice trips for dormitories for workers and freelance workers were deployed to help people overcome the epidemic.

(Trucks full of rice, vegetables and fruit are delivered to the dormitories of supporting workers)

And at this point, after going through long months of stressful epidemics in SG, the GOT staff are Swallow wings that nothing can defeat. The Board of Directors enters a new phase with a new plan.

The next 5-year development plan is developed with a team of personnel forged through the most difficult times. COVID-19 brings difficulties to businesses but does not change Ong Tho Rice's goal - to become one of Vietnam's top Specialty Rice suppliers, with transparent origin and traceability to growing areas. With the spirit of always accompanying and contributing to solving social problems (as GOT did during the recent COVID-19 epidemic), GOT has established the community "VIETNAM RICE FORUM" from 2016 to present to People in the rice industry and disadvantaged people who cannot afford to access professional information have the opportunity to access information and knowledge about the industry quickly and accurately. Contribute to minimizing information manipulation, market manipulation and making competition in the industry more fair. Vietnam Rice Forum is an information channel for farmers, businesses, and rice industry workers to raise their voices and quickly reach the media and leaders to promptly handle situations. urgent.

(Representatives of Ong Tho Rice met to discuss the deployment of raw material areas in Soc Trang province in May 2021)

Representatives of Ong Tho Rice met to discuss the deployment of raw material areas in Soc Trang province in May 2021)
Profit is a measure of a business's performance but is not the only goal that Ong Tho Rice pursues. Accompanying to solve social problems and contributing to building a better living environment is a worthy mission for the staff and leadership of Ong Tho Rice to aim for.