|The PM's 2011-2020 National Strategy on Food Safety requires that all supermarkets and half of wet markets should be monitored for food safety and hygiene. VNA/ VNS Photo An Hieu
HA NOI (VNS) -- Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam held a working session on June 24 with representatives of foreign donors and organisations on ensuring food safety and hygiene in Viet Nam.
According to the health ministry's food safety and hygiene department, in recent years, food safety issues have received special attention from the Vietnamese party, government and National Assembly.
In early 2012, the Prime Minister approved a National Strategy on Food Safety for the 2011-2020 period, with a vision towards 2030. The strategy aims to equip 70 per cent of the food farmers, processors and businessmen, 80 per cent of managers and 79 per cent of consumers with knowledge about food safety, and thus adopt corresponding actions by 2015. It also sets the target that all localities should establish food safety management systems, and that all supermarkets and half of the wet markets should be monitored for food safety and hygiene.
However, Deputy PM Dam told the delegates that 80 per cent of the food sold in small markets was yet to receive full quarantine, while many farmers lacked knowledge about using fertilisers, pesticides and growth stimulants.
Therefore, he stressed the importance of narrowing the gap in quality between products sold in supermarkets and markets, controlling the smuggling of pesticides and growth stimulants, and reorganising food production and distribution systems in markets.
For the long term, Viet Nam should speed up the development of a distribution system of supermarket chains and supply chains of farmers, while for the short term, the country should continue installing mobile food-testing machines in markets, he said.
The Deputy PM also asked the ministries of health, agriculture and rural development, and industry and trade to co-operate in improving the efficiency of food safety and hygiene quarantine centres and labs.
Agreeing with his opinion, representatives of foreign donors and organisations hoped for closer coordination between ministries and sectors to ensure the quality and progress of ODA projects and programmes related to food safety and hygiene. -- VNS