An interview with Mr Nguyen Duc Thanh - Part 1

Mr Nguyen Duc Thanh, would you please share with us how you got into the Cashew Industry?

I would say it was a coincidence. Back in the 80s’, I was assigned to be a Manager of an Export Company. We did a lot of things, from spices like ginger, curcumin, peppers to cattle products such as calf skin, bison horns, and even things like salted eggs, frozen ducks, birds feather. These products were exported to socialism countries belonged to SEV group (Sovyet Ekonomičeskoy Vzaimopomošči – Council for Mutual Economic Assistance – COMECON).

When SEV ceased operation, my company was on the brink of bankruptcy. In June 1989, Mr Huynh Minh – Vice Manager of Unity of Import Export Long An (UNIMEX-LA) – introduced me to Mr Nguyen Van Lang, Mr Le Cong Thanh and Mr Nguyen Minh Son. They were from a branch belonged to Ms Ba Thi – managed by Ho Chi Minh Food Corporation. Lang was the Head of R&D Department of this entity. His department possessed a factory processing cashew located in Thu Duc district – Ho Chi Minh city. It was managed by Mr Le Cong Thanh.

After Lang introduced cashew processing technology for exporting to me, I knew this was the way to escape the bankruptcy. Hence, I asked Lang to let me visit his factory. When my colleagues and myself came there to listen to Thanh about the processing technology, observe with our own eyes the factory and roasting, steaming, cutting machines, etc. I felt it was a hard job, but it would be ok for my workforce in Long An. So, I asked Lang if he could transfer the technology to my company. This was the time I put my first step in cashew industry.