Effects of the ASC global value chain for small-scale prawn farmers In the Mekong Delta of Vietnam

Duc Nguyen&Emily Ogier


The Global Value Chain (GVC) approach was used to analyse the integration of different prawn production stakeholders in the Mekong Delta of Vietnam into the global value chain. The prawn value chain is an example of the buyer-driven chain in which international markets and major retailers use third-party certification, such as the Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC), to form an entry barrier for producing countries. Upstream of the ASC value chain, each stakeholder used their own governance tool to contribute to the production of prawn products that met recognised sustainable standards in response to environmental and social concerns. The GVC analysis suggested that adoption of ASC certification benefited small-scale farmers in the Mekong Delta by establishing contract farming between ASC farmers and seafood processors and input contracts between seed and chemical suppliers with ASC farmers. The presence of contract farming shortened the product flow from farm gate to seafood processors by reducing the number of intermediaries involved in the chain; therefore, contributing to increased share of the revenue for farmers. However, the ASC value chain is likely to exclude and compromise the livelihood of small-scale intermediaries who played an indispensable role in remote areas in the Mekong Delta of Vietnam.