Increased foreign investment and changes in consumption and distribution patterns are prompting growth of the pork production sector in Vietnam, with the potential exclusion of small-scale farmers. Developing the collective action of farmers in the production, processing and certification of lean, safe pork products has been tested as a way to increase viability and benefits for small farmers. This development has been based on an action research initiative involving researchers, farmers and public officials, with regular monitoring of technical and economic data. The study shows the various functions devolving upon cooperatives in response to deficient access to resources and services in the area involving imported swine breeds, veterinary services, feed, training, a joint production protocol and safety certification. Available data show a positive impact on farmer incomes and trends to expand the scope of the organisations in terms of functions performed and quantities traded.