Sowing prosperity: Camimex's journey to sustainable shrimp farming

A collaborative commitment to Nature-based Solutions is making the shrimp value chain in Vietnam more sustainable.

In the heart of the climate-vulnerable Mekong Delta, Camimex, the second-largest shrimp processor in Vietnam, envisioned a nature-based solution (NbS) that increased smallholder incomes, reduced greenhouse gas emissions, provided coastal protection and restored biodiversity. This is a story of growth, resilience, and cooperation, where SNV, working on behalf of the DFCD’s Origination Facility, has supported the transformation of this vision into reality. 

Thriving amidst challenges: Camimex's bold start

Established in 1977 in the Ca Mau province, Camimex is a beacon of success, processing shrimp at three factories with an annual production capacity of 10,000 tons. The company sources shrimp from over 3,000 smallholder farmers, including 1,506 organic certified farmers, who farm on 8,500 hectares of integrated mangrove farms. The mangrove covers greater than 45% of the area. Although Camimex had been very successful, investing in the aquaculture sector in Vietnam is considered high-risk, and the company required support to address these concerns and prepare to be investment-ready to take its success to the next level. 

Harmony with nature: the Mekong Delta's fragile balance

Climate projections highlight the Mekong Delta's vulnerability to climate change and man-made factors. One of the key climate-smart responses for the landscape is integrated mangrove shrimp. The mangrove belt acts as a natural buffer, pivotal in protecting the landscape. Camimex has emerged as a global leader in integrated mangrove shrimp production and thus has a key role in this fragile landscape.

Origination Facility's call to action

The Origination Facility supports climate-focused projects across Africa, Asia, and Latin America. In 2022, Camimex and SNV embarked on a collaboration to address challenges and create a sustainable growth path for the company. Together, they set milestones to de-risk the business, making it investment-ready and aligned with key stakeholder needs. 

Transformative changes: Camimex's journey of de-risking

Camimex underwent a comprehensive transformation with the support of the Origination Facility. To meet organic certification standards, shrimp farms must adhere to sustainable practices, including 50% mangrove cover. SNV supported Camimex to meet the organic certification practices, by providing training, establishing Internal Control Systems, and initiating a pilot for mangrove planting. SNV's assistance extended to testing a credit linkage model, hatchery expansion, and a blue carbon assessment to explore additional income streams.

SNV further provided mentorship and grant funding, supporting the company in creating an impactful intervention that aligned organic production with restoring critical areas. 

‘In the past two years, when implementing this project, we realised that our farmers benefited from the project a lot: material, social policy, awareness, way of thinking, production processes, and sustainable development have become the way of farmers’ thinking in integrating into our supplied chains. We thank DFCD/SNV for this.’ - Mr. Dang Ngoc Son, General Director of Camimex Corp 

SNV further provided mentorship and grant funding, supporting the company in creating an impactful intervention that aligned organic production with restoring critical areas. 

Building alliances and investor's commitment

Camimex's remarkable journey attracted the attention of FMO, the Dutch entrepreneurial development bank, marking the first investment by FMO in an Origination Facility project. By engaging FMO early in the process and through the Origination Facility’s process, key risks could be mitigated, resulting in co-benefits. Overall, these activities ensured Camimex met investment standards and is managed sustainably. This resulted in Camimex obtaining a senior secured $15 million loan from FMO in March 2024—an important milestone. 



Impactful Reflection: Harvesting Success in Camimex's Fields 

Camimex's plans for expansion and impact are remarkable—bringing 16,500 hectares of wetlands under sustainable management, increasing incomes for 7,200 smallholder farmers, improving broodstock quality, and expanding processing capabilities by an additional 6,000 tons per year. The company is now implementing its 2022–2030 private sector transformation goals. 

Looking Beyond: Camimex's Vision for a Sustainable Future 

Camimex envisions becoming the world leader in organic shrimp farming, thanks to DFCD's support, taking a significant step toward expanding its impact. In the tapestry of the Mekong Delta, Camimex's story stands as an inspiration—a testament to the harmony between business success and environmental stewardship. 

 Watch this video to learn more about Camimex and the DFCD’s collaboration for a resilient Mekong Delta. 

To learn more about the DFCD project