Trangs Group - Placement 2.

Trip Start Sep 28, 2011
Trip End Aug 17, 2012

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Quan 7

Flag of Vietnam  ,
Thursday, December 8, 2011

Xing Chao (pronounced 'sing chow' is Vitnamese for hello)

Placement No. 2

Last week I started my second placement on my Taste the World scheme. This placement is with Trangs group, based in their production site in Vietnam. Trangs is a family run busniess that specalise in frozen and chilled foods such as spring rolls and tempura prawns.Visit for a full outline of their products. Trangs is a international company with sites in the US, Australia, Africa, South East Asia as well as the UK. Trangs group stemmed form the success of the original - Trang's Food Australia which was set up in 1985.

The Vietnam site which I am based in produces quality seafood and finger food products, and is one of Sainsbury's suppliers. They currently supply core and some Taste The Difference products, with one product nominated for a Grocer Award early next year (So finger crossed and good luck to the team). I am based here in this site for four weeks, until the end of December when I take 3 months off for my own travelling.

The team is very accommodating, with a company car collecting and dropping me off each day. This was a relief as the thought of having to hire a scooter and tackle the chaos that is Vietnamese driving, was literally terrifying! Having witnessed 3 accidents on my first day in the city, it ' help my nerves! And if this isn't good enough I get my lunch provided straight to my desk along with water throughout the day. In the mornings, I also get a delicious Vietnamese iced coffee. (Vietnamese coffee is simply the best coffee you can have and its made with condensed milk, so it’s also nice and sweet.)

I have arrived at a great time, at the start of their new product development (NPD) for next year. I will be working closely with the NPD team, and have already been getting involved - mainly through tasting the new products and providing some feedback. (Always a hard job having to eat food - but someone has to do it ;-).

Over the next few weeks I will be involved in the NPD process for Sainsbury’s as well as conducting a packaging review, and following up some product improvement work.
I may also get the chance to visit a prawn farm at some stage.

Its the weekend...

This weekend I took advantage of the long weekend (I will in future have to work Saturdays, but due to the power being off - I got the day off) and made my way to Dalat. This is a mountainous area in central Vietnam with beautiful landscapes and scenery. Our journey didn’t start the best way, when an ordinary bus turned up instead of what we thought was meant to be a 'sleeper' bus. However we managed to catch some shut eye through the night and arrived into Dalat at 5 in the morning on Saturday. We found a hotel, checked in, grabbed an hours kip and set off on a bike tour.

Our tour guides brought us to many of the attractions in Dalat including flower farms, vegetable plantations, pagodas, small villages and coffee plantations. The main attraction for us was to visit  a particular type of coffee farm. This would be non-other than the weasel coffee. For those of you are fortunate enough to not know about this, I will explain. Weasels are fed the freshly picked coffee berry. This is all their diet consists of, however, they are not actually able to digest the coffee bean inside, so through natural processes the bean is excreted from the body. This is what is then used to make the weasel coffee - giving it a unique flavour. Lovely! See pic. I did try it, but i wasn't keen. it was very strong and I'm not a huge fan of coffee (apart from the traditional Vietnamese coffee).

After this we then went to Elephant Waterfall, where our guide gave us a 20 second talk on where to go and left us to it. Other tourists were led by their tour guide, but our guy was having none of it. On arrival we looked at each other and wondered how on earth we were meant to get near it. In front looked like large boulders in the middle of a river, with a waterfall smashing down on the other side. But we made our way across the boulders and got really close to the waterfall and very close to being under it. Was pretty amazing being that close to a waterfall. Beside the water fall was the happy buddha - and indeed he was very happy! See the pic below!

We also got to visit a silk production site. Here we saw how the silk worm produces the silk, and how the silk is extracted from this - to a finsied piece of fabric. Was a small scale operation, but was quite fascinating.

That’s all for now folks!

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Louise and mervyn farrell on

Lisa u have put us of coffee for life now haha sounds lovely.
Hope youu are enjoying your trip around the world and will see you in March.
Love youu and Miss youu xox :)

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