10/04/2017 16:31 GMT+7 Email Print Like 0

A 100-Year-Old Fish Sauce Brand

Established over 100 years ago, Lien Thanh Fish Sauce Company is one of the oldest flagship fish sauce producers in Vietnam. The brand is closely associated with Vietnam’s recent history and people.
Lien Thanh Company was founded in 1906 in the southern province of Phan Thiet by local patriotic scholars in response to the Duy Tan movement which was initiated by the 20th nationalist Phan Chu Trinh.

In this period, French colonists and the Chinese dominated industrial production and trading in Vietnam. Only small businesses such as fish sauce producers could be owned by locals. 

However, on the very first day of operation, Lien Thanh made clear branding strategies with a “red elephant” logo, which represented the solidarity of the Vietnamese people.

Most of the fish for production come from Binh Thuan.

Wooden brew containers with over 100 years of use.

Fish and salt are brewed from 8 months to 12 months.

The process of pouring fish sauce into bottles.

Checking quality of fish sauce.

Lien Thanh has a variety of products ranging from normal to high grade.

Lien Thanh products are retailed nationwide.

In 1917, the company moved its headquarters to Cho Lon, the biggest trading centre in Saigon (present-day Ho Chi Minh City) in a bid to expand its market share in the most populated areas in the region.

At that time, the company had applied modern production methods such as building a chemical laboratory, quality check department and a personnel training department. The company also imported production machines from Kubota, Japan’s leading machine maker.

The company experienced a milestone in 1918 when it participatedin a Marseille International Exhibition in France, setting up the opportunity to enter the European and other markets.

In the local markets, besides having the prominent market share in the Southern region, Lien Thanh expanded to the Central region and Cambodia.

After reunification in 1975, like most private-owned companies, Lien Thanh was nationalised to become a state-owned company.

However, the company was equitised to become a joint-stock company in 2001, in response to the call from the government during the period of a market oriented economy.

To keep the unique taste that has lasted for the last 100 years, the company maintains the traditional production methods, which requires the high-quality input material of fish and the brewing  ratio of 3 fish one salt.

The company’s products, which were granted the Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) international food safety standard, have received many quality prizes domestically and internationally.

The company, which was recognised as the country’s oldest fish sauce brand by the Vietnam Guinness Records, said it sold 4.5 million litres of fish sauce annually in the domestic market only.

Story: Nguyen Oanh - Photos: Dang Kim Phuong