Bowls, cups, plates, trays, spoons… are the products made of areca spathes, which seems to be discarded. These products are made by Phan Vu Hoai Vui- a young girl with a great love for nature.
Phan Vu Hoai Vui is Director of the Quang Nam Agricultural and Industrial Cooperative specializing in products made of areca spathes which was founded in Tien Phu Tay hamlet, Tien My commune, Tien Phuoc district in late September 2020.
Environmentally friendly products
Phan Vu Hoai Vui was born and grew up in a village of Tien Phuoc district. Her childhood was tightly associated with areca spathes wrapping cooked rice which gives off a special scent.
It is the scent that stimulated her to leave her job in Ho Chi Minh city and come back with areca spathes and the idea of turning areca spathes into bowls, cups, plates, trays, spoons… was born.
It has been approved by both her family and the local authorities because it can help protect the environment and improve the locals’ income.
The Quang Nam Agricultural and Industrial Cooperative is known as the first place to make products of areca spathes without using chemicals.
Areca spathes are pressed in different moulds at a high temperature to make a variety of products in different shapes. Then, they are processed by using UV lights to make sure that the products are safe for users.
Moreover, The products made of areca spathe are unique, environmentally friendly products, hence popular with the locals. They are also highly aesthetic, so they may be sold to consumers and tourists as souvenirs.
Opportunities and challenges
The Quang Nam Agricultural and Industrial Cooperative is approved and supported by the local authorities and associations.
Thanks to the supports from the local authorities and associations, the cooperative has money to purchase modern facilities for its production. Besides, Tien Phuoc is known as a place of areca, which provides the main raw material for the cooperative. Moreover, the cooperative is now making use of its local human resources.
All these factors are considered as the advantages the Quang Nam Agricultural and Industrial Cooperative has, helping and promoting its development.
However, the raw materials are collected seasonally, from March to September; therefore, it is difficult for the cooperative to store areca spathes. Another difficulty the products made of areca spathes have is consumers’ habits of using plastic and ceramic products.
The solution to the difficulties is the quality of the products, according to Ms. Vui. The cooperative is making every effort to increase its products’ competitiveness and export.