Belgian entrepreneurs hit the road for VECO’s 2nd Vietnam Bike Classic

Belgian entrepreneurs hit the road for VECO’s 2nd Vietnam Bike Classic

in News

Between 5 and 14 October 2017, 29 entrepreneurs from the Flanders Region of Belgium will explore northern Vietnam by mountain bike. After months of fundraising for VECO, they will learn about VECO’s projects in Vietnam and discover the country’s unique food, sceneries and culture.

A fundraising challenge

Since 2010, Vredeseilanden (VECO in Belgium) has been organizing cycling tours named “Vredeseilanden Classics” to raise funds for VECO’s projects worldwide. After successful editions in Senegal, Benin, Nicaragua, Tanzania and Indonesia, the first Vietnam Classic took place in April 2017 (see our article: “ Cycling in solidarity: Accounts from the first Vietnam Classic”).

The objective of the Vredeseilanden Classics is to raise funds to support the realization of VECO’s global vision: a world with production and consumption systems that allow poverty and hunger to be eradicated and that do not burden our planet more than it can bear. Through its programmes in 14 countries, VECO contributes to more sustainable and inclusive food systems that provide affordable food for all, today and tomorrow. Family farms are a key part of the solution as they produce 70% of our food worldwide. However, in Vietnam and elsewhere, they often struggle to be fairly and effectively included in quality food value chains. Therefore, VECO empowers farmer groups to become solid business partners and to implement safer and more sustainable farming practices.

In support of that mission, each Classic participant committed to raise at least 3,000€ to support VECO’s projects across its international network, including in Vietnam. Thanks to the bikers’ engagement, VECO is able to support more farmers and to intensify its work as a bridge builder between the food industry, governments, farmer organisations, research institutions, and others, to foster more sustainable and transparent food systems.

Discovering VECO’s actions in Vietnam

Prepared jointly by VECO Belgium and VECO Vietnam, the itinerary will take the bikers across beautiful rice fields, breath-taking hills, and peaceful lakes, all the way to Halong Bay’s most famous island: Cat Ba.

The bikers will start their cycling journey in Ba Be National Park in Bac Kạn Province, about 240 km Northeast of Hanoi. Renowned for its freshwater lake and evergreen forests, the area is also famous for its limestone hills which will certainly offer a physical challenge to the enthusiastic party. The journey will then take them through Tuyen Quang, Yen Bai, Phu Tho, Ha Noi and Ha Nam provinces where they will have the chance to meet representatives from 3 partner organisations of VECO in Vietnam.

The group will first visit My Lam Joint Stock Company, a tea factory where VECO built the capacity of local staff as part of a project on sustainable tea with Rainforest Alliance. They will then make their way to Viet Tri City to exchange with farmers from Tan Duc Cooperative. Between 2011 and 2016, VECO supported the Cooperative to set up and operate a local Participatory Guarantee System (PGS) to guarantee the quality of its safe vegetables. It has since then been a trusted supplier of safe vegetables to the community. Finally, the bikers will visit Trac Van Collaborative Group, with whom VECO currently implements the project “Empowering female farmers through organic vegetables production and marketing” funded by Hanoi International Women’s Club.

Keep an eye on our Facebook page for photos, videos, and updates from the second Bike Classic in Vietnam!

Contact: Ms. Nguyen Thanh Binh, Event Officer: binh [at]

Ms. Charlotte Flechet, Communications Officer: charlotte [at]