Vietnam to foster Good Agricultural Practice

Update: 10/10/2013

Vietnamese farmers should follow Vietnam Good Agricultural Practice (Viet GAP) in order to improve and expand their business.

Metro Cash and Carry Vietnam developed a MetroGAP for their products The problem was discussed at a seminar on market co-operation for Viet GAP Standard products, held by Metro Cash and Carry Vietnam, on October 8 in HCM City.

It’s years since the implementation of Viet GAP and Global GAP certificates in Vietnam, but the aquaculture sector only used Viet GAP for whiteleg shrimp, Asian tiger shrimp and Tra fish.

Le Bao Ngoc, CEO of VinaCert-Control JSC, said, by following Viet GAP standards, farmers will make a good impression with importers. However, Ngoc also raised the concern that Vietnam has many farm households but these households may not be able to meet Viet GAP standards. “Will VietGAP increase the prices? If VietGAP aims to help farmers expand their domestic market business then where’s the support and the advertising?” Ngoc said.

Tran Van Lam from Vietnam Farmer’s Union, in the southern region, agreed with Ngoc. He went on to say if Viet GAP standard products can not find a place in supermarkets, they will have to be sold in normal markets with higher prices than other products. “How can we make consumers believe that this is a genuine VietGAP standard product and ask them to pay a higher price for it?” he said.

In the provinces of Ben Tre and Tien Giang, several households have given up on Viet GAP because of the extra expenditures involved, so they need a secure outlet for their products. For example, Metro can inform farmers of the number and kind of products they’ll need in the next year so farmers can collaborate to set up a plan to meet theserequirements.

Answering the questions, Pham Anh Tuan, deputy head of the Directorates of Fisheries, said that GAP helps to develop sustainable development and a chance for farmers to enter bigger markets.

Currently, there are many standards for food products so producers only need to fulfill consumers’ requirements. In the near future, it will be necessary for the various standards-makers to cooperate with each other. For example, if a producer already meets all requirements for VietGAP standards and wants to gain a certificate from GlobalGAP, they’ll only need to meet the additional requirements that VietGAP does not cover.

Truong Dinh Hoe, secretary of Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers, said, ” VietGAP needs to be the basic, the mandatory requirement for all aqua-products exporters. But in fact, it takes a lot of time to grant a certificate. Last year, only seven or eight companies asked for VietGAP certificates yet none has been given.”

Experts affirmed that not only will farmers not have to bear extra expenditures, they’ll be able to save some money. Nguyen Huu Dung from Vietnam Accreditation Body said, farmers in Dalat implemented VietGAP 10 years ago and they’ve saved a lot of money.

Philipe Bacac, head of Metro Cash and Carry Vietnam also agreed with the experts and said farmers will have stable outlets for their products too.


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