LAGUNA LĂNG CÔ CELEBRATES LOCAL CULTURE WITH COMMUNITY AND ENVIRONMENTAL PROJECTS
Category: Corporate Social Responsibility
Thua Thien Hue, Vietnam, June 2013- Laguna Lăng Cô, Banyan Tree’s first integrated resort in Central Vietnam, is introducing several community and environmental projects over the next couple of years as part of its continued mission to support and celebrate local culture. The carefully researched projects, from organic farms to local restaurants, are designed to encourage guest participation and engagement.
Seedlings restaurant opened on 26 April 2013 in the centre of the UNESCO World Heritage Town of Hoi An, overlooking the famous 16th century Japanese Bridge of the Thu Bon River. The town is renowned for its lantern and light displays along the river at night and the restaurant is in a perfect spot to watch the world pass by whilst enjoying one of the many varied Vietnamese dishes.
Seedlings is the name for an international company-wide mentorship programme for under-privileged youths and the Seedlings restaurant, the first to be launched, is named after this programme. Each of the staff members, known as Seedlings, are from marginalised backgrounds and the training support provided by the restaurant helps them build invaluable vocational life skills so they can forge successful careers.
The Seedlings restaurant project is a joint collaboration with KOTO Foundation (Know One, Teach One) a Hanoi based charity that provides catering skills to under-privileged youths in Vietnam. Seedlings restaurant supports the last six months of KOTO’s two year food and beverage training programme for twelve trainees.
In January 2014, Laguna Lăng Cô will launch its own extensive organic farm situated on an area of land close to the golf course. The fully sustainable 10,000m2 farm will focus on high yield crops such as mushrooms, berries, herbs, salads and cocoa plants and will expand to include wild pigs and bee hives for honey production.
The farm will sit alongside horse stables, with up to six horses and also a worm farm which will convert hotel organic waste, horse manure and charcoal into fertilisers that in turn will develop crops. After the farm has been fully operational for a year, it will be used as a model for farming practices in the local communities so they can produce their own vegetables and farming businesses.
Guests will enjoy special farm tours with visual aids and explanations to show how the farm sustains its production along with riding lessons and scenic rides along the dramatic coastline of Lang Co.
Pheva World – chocolate
A recent report by www.trendwatching.com cites that developing countries increasingly appreciate the importance of celebrating their own culture and customs to capture the interest of international and domestic tourism. Chocolate production in Vietnam is one example of how this trend is manifesting itself.
Cocoa plants are prevalent in Vietnam but the potential of cocoa beans has not yet been exploited despite the beans producing very high quality chocolate. The situation is now beginning to change as local entrepreneurs recognise the quality of the cocoa beans and its possibilities for chocolate production. One such entrepreneurial business, Pheva World, was set up by a young Vietnamese couple, who gained chemistry degrees in Europe before returning to their local town of DaNang to open a chocolate company. The company’s mission is to produce a high quality handcrafted Vietnamese product made by Vietnamese people that’s sells to both the domestic and international market.
Laguna Lăng Cô’s organic farm will support Pheva World by testing the potential of cocoa plant growth in central Vietnam. When the cocoa plants prove to be viable, Laguna Lăng Cô will assist local farmers to develop production as an increased economic yield. The chocolate will also be offered as turn down gifts in the hotel and sold at the Seedlings restaurant in Hoi An.
Laguna Lăng Cô is very close to a small fishing village called Loc Vinh, where the fisherman still use traditional fishing methods in round ‘thuyen thung’ fishing boats to catch their fish. The boats are used to lay nets in the waters and as a means of local transport.
Lang Co supports this fishing village through purchasing the fish for the restaurant but also through organising bespoke village tours along with lessons on local fishing methods. The resort is also careful to ensure that the visits are well managed so that the fisherman’s fish production and practices are preserved and supported.