Vietnam needs to keep tighter control of domestic food market: WB official

Wednesday, 2018-11-28 16:25:34
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Researchers and experts discuss at the IFC 7th International Food Safety Forum in HCM City on November 28. (Photo: VNA)
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NDO – Vietnam should keep tighter control of the domestic food market, while applying policies to encourage more sustainable production and trade of safe food in the near future, Ousmane Dione, World Bank Country Director for Vietnam, has said.

The WB official made the suggestion during the 7th International Food Safety Forum, held by the International Finance Corporation (IFC), an affiliate of the World Bank Group, in Ho Chi Minh City, on November 28-29.

Vietnam is a country with agricultural advantages, Dione said, adding that revenues of over US$18 billion from farm produce exports in 2017 is an encouraging sign demonstrating the country’s constant growth in the field.

However, Vietnam also suffers a loss of approximately US$700 million annually due to poor food safety, which has affected the health and even the lives of consumers. Therefore, in order to build trademarks for Vietnamese farm produce and food, the government needs to deploy pertinent strategies, including the application of practical experience from a number of countries around the world, he added.

Sharing Dione’s view, Gabor Fluit, General Director of De Heus Asia, which specialises in animal nutrition, said that, as the domestic market is unceasingly growing, Vietnamese consumers are getting more demanding in selecting food and the demand for safe food is becoming more urgent.

This means Vietnam needs to keep tighter control of food safety standards, as well as design policies encouraging and assisting partners, especially businesses, to participate in the safe food chains, he noted.

Touching on New Zealand’s experience, New Zealand Ambassador to Vietnam, Wendy Matthews, hailed legal regulations and science as the two important factors for managers to take control of food safety and for countries to build food reputations of their own.

She said that, in her country, food safety has been built into a culture, with responsibility closely attached to businesses, farmers and consumers. Whenever a food safety incident occurs, the supplier must take all responsibility and will be seriously punished. New Zealand is also willing to reward the companies which perform well in the issue of ensuring food safety.

Taking place on November 28-29, the IFC 7th International Food Safety Forum offers a platform for experts in the global food industry to meet and discuss why businesses need to apply standards and practices on food safety. The theme of this year’s forum, “Better Food Safety, Better Business”, will highlight how investments in food safety and the fostering of a food safety culture can unlock business opportunities and enhance financial performance.