Major retailer resumes sales of Vedan products

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Local supermarket chain Saigon Co.op has announced it will resume sales of Vedan seasoning products on Monday after the environmental polluter agreed to pay compensation to affected farmers.

Nguyen Thanh Nhan, deputy general director of the Ho Chi Minh City-based retailer, said Saturday that the Taiwanese monosodium glutamate (MSG) maker has shown its "goodwill" by promising compensation to local farmers.

As a result, Saigon Co.op will give it another chance and resume sales of its products, he said.

Saigon Co.op owns 45 supermarkets nationwide and reportedly holds a market share of over 50 percent in the country's modern retail sector.

Vedan products were pulled from shelves at all Saigon Co.op outlets on August 5.

Other supermarkets soon followed suit and the boycott campaign, the first ever in the country, eventually forced Vedan to accept responsibility for damages caused by its fourteen year pollution of the Thi Vai River.

The boycott by retailers was prompted by the fact that customers were refusing to buy Vedan products, unhappy with the company's stalling tactics in paying compensation to affected farmers. 

The river polluter has pledged to pay a total of VND219 billion in restitution to affected farmers in Dong Nai Province, Ba Ria-Vung Tau Province and Ho Chi Minh City.

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