Tuesday, December 6 2016

VietNamNews

Rice lacks national brand: scholar

Update: April, 29/2016 - 09:00
The Government recently approved a project to build a strong global brand name for rice by the year 2020, with a focus on restructuring production, processing and distribution of three main kinds of rice – white, fragrant and special rice. — Photo tintuc.vn

Viet Nam News -HCM CITY — Building a national brand name for Vietnamese rice would help increase rice export value and prestige in the world market, the rector of Cần Thơ University said yesterday at a seminar held in HCM City.

Professor Võ Tòng Xuân said that Việt Nam was one of the world’s largest rice exporters, but it had become less competitive against other rice-exporting nations because it had not built a strong brand.

He said that Vietnamese rice growers and exporters had paid more attention to quantity instead of quality, with rice mainly exported to less demanding markets.

In the global rice market, competition has become increasingly tough, he added.

 “We should adjust how we export branded rice,” Xuân said.

While Việt Nam has good rice seeds, farmers prefer growing plants that have higher yields, not better quality, he said.

Such a mindset is different from farmers in other countries, he added.

Trần Anh Tuấn, CEO of Pathfinder, a consulting company, said some Vietnamese businesses usually mixed rice of various quality and prices to compete on price, which affects the reputation of domestic rice.

The Government recently approved a project to build a strong global brand name for rice by the year 2020, with a focus on restructuring production, processing and distribution of three main kinds of rice – white, fragrant and special rice.

The brand vision has been basically established, but there are many things that still need to be done, he said.

Xuân said the first step should be selecting the best seeds, organising production and promoting rice at international fairs and in the media to increase consumer awareness, he said.

He urged the agricultural sector to speed up the application of good agricultural practices in production to meet consumer demand for safe products.

Nguyễn Lâm Viên, chairman of Vinamit, said that Việt Nam should strive to produce organic farm products and penetrate international markets.

“If we focus on organic production, Việt Nam’s agricultural sector will surpass Thai’s in 20 years,” he said, adding that Việt Nam has opportunities to succeed in organic agriculture.

Nguyễn Quốc Vọng, adjunct professor at RMIT University, stressed that organic production required stakeholders to have knowledge and vision about the field.

They also must help farmers understand and follow requirements of organic production, he said. 

At the seminar, Võ Minh Khải, president and CEO of Viễn Phú Organic and Healthy Foods Joint Stock Corporation, spoke about his experience in successfully building a the organic rice brand Hoa Sua Foods, which is cultivated in the U Minh forest area in Cà Mau province and certified by the US Department of Agriculture and the EU.

Khải said he built brands based on differences (packaging, quality and no harmful residue) and unique qualities (helps prevent diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancer and anaemia).

If Việt Nam decided to focus on organic agriculture, its farm produce would have great advantages in the world market, Viên said. — VNS

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