11:19:45 AM | 19/6/2011
From a company that once nearly went bankrupt with a huge debt of up to VND360 billion, Son La Sugar Company has since made miraculous progress, not only in improving material and spiritual life for its employees, but also generating positive effects on local socioeconomic development. The success is attributed to effective solutions in science, technology, governance, environmental protection, and sustainable material zone construction.
Riding out difficulties
Son La Sugar Joint Stock Company was established in April 1996 as part of a national programme for manufacturing 1 million tonnes of sugar in 2000. Sugar processing facilities, with a designed capacity of 1,000 tonnes of sugar cane a day, operated very effectively. In 1997, the company built a cookie factory with an annual capacity of 1,600 tonnes. In 1998, it established a microbial fertiliser factory with an annual output of 3,500 tonnes. In 2003, it founded an animal feed and farm produce processing factory with a daily animal feed output of 17 tonnes and a drying corn output of 80 tonnes. However, after more than 10 years, the company suffered a loss of nearly VND360 billion and faced bankruptcy.
Confronting this challenge, in February 2008, Son La Sugar Company decided to privatise in hopes of gradually resolving its difficulties. After two crop years (2007 - 2008 and 2008 - 2009), the company settled all debts to start stable production and was able to improve employee incomes. The firm made profit of VND32 billion in the 2009 - 2010 crop year and VND44 billion in the 2010 -2011 crop. With rising profit, the firm invested to upgrade production and processing capacity from 1,300 tonnes to 1,800 tonnes of sugarcane a day. Marketing and sales activities were more focused and distribution networks were expanded to many provinces and cities in the country.
Apart from good performance on the business front, the company was also active in charitable activities. In 2010, it donated VND5 billion to build schools for children in poor areas.
In addition to applying modern manufacturing and processing technologies, building material zones and implementing transparent policies, Son La Sugar Joint Stock Company also sets great store by environmental protection. It applies advanced biotechnologies to treat wastewater, chemicals and other waste. This natural method is free of chemicals. Gas emissions are treated by advanced filter systems.
Environmental protection is also carried out in sugarcane farms. Biologically originated pesticides are harmless to human health and the natural environment.
Son La Sugar Joint Stock Company is rated a model sugar company in environmental protection.
Richer with farmers
Being aware that a sustainable material zone is crucial for success and development, Son La Sugar Joint Stock Company has applied many policies to ensure the best interests of sugarcane farmers. It signed three-year contracts with rising annual price terms to assure farmers. It has also supported farmers with new crops, fertilisers, new farming practices and techniques, and pledged to purchase sugarcane at higher prices in case the sugar market price climbs. In addition, it has spent a handsome amount of money to build and repair roads in material zones, encouraged farmers to boost productivity, presented gifts for well-performing farmers, and offered soft loans for farmers to develop animal husbandry.
Mr Tran Van Thanh, General Director of Son La Sugar Joint Stock Company, said: The company will strive to take more initiative in all business aspects like expanding material zones; processing, packaging and preserving products; and seeking markets. The company’s success offers farmers the chance for better incomes.