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VN needs to build food brands: experts

Update: October, 05/2016 - 09:00
Safe food produced in Viet Nam on sale at Aeon mall, Long Biên, Hà Nội. VNS photo Thái Hà
Viet Nam News

HÀ NỘI – Building a brand strategy for Việt Nam’s food industry will help increase recognition of the country’s food products on the world market, thereby boosting the sector’s growth through stronger exports. 

Deputy Minister Industry and Trade, Đỗ Thắng Hải, told a workshop in Ha Noi yesterday that building a food brand strategy is part of the national branding programme aimed at developing brands for Việt Nam’s export commodities in highly competitive fields. Under the programme, companies will be given advice while promotion activities will be intensified to develop a national image for the food industry. 

Vietnamese foods do not command high prices or attention in domestic and international markets, despite their high quality.

Last year, Việt Nam’s total agricultural export turnover was up to US$20 billion, accounting for 12 per cent of the country’s exports.

Nguyễn Ngô Vi Tâm, general director of Vĩnh Hoàn Company, said Vietnamese agricultural products encounter barriers and exporters are short of market information.

“Recently, some fruit has been exported to developed countries. However, the export volume has been small without clear trademarks or products recognition, Tâm said.

Bùi Huy Sơn, director of the ministry’s Việt Nam Trade Promotion Agency (Vietrade), said the country has diversified food resources different from others in the Asian region.

However, the efforts of individual producers cannot provide foreign customers with adequate awareness of Vietnamese food’s quality, value and supply ability.

“The promotion of Vietnamese food to foreign markets has not been effective as the country has not built a common trade market,” Sơn said.

He added that foreign customers often pay attention to a country’s whole food sector, rather than to separate products.

“Companies should apply modern technology to minimise material loss and ensure food safety. They also need to do market research, diversify products to match the taste of each market, and consolidate distribution networks,” he added.

In South Korea, for example, the Government has designated the food industry as a foundation for the country’s development and culture. Thus, the number of Korean restaurants in foreign countries has surged and is expected to reach 40,000 in 2017.

The development of the food sector has also considerably improved business opportunities in agriculture, forestry, tourism and culture.

Bruno Angelet, Ambassador and Head of the EU Delegation to Việt Nam, said the country has become a big exporter. However, the added value of several agricultural products was still low.

He said brand names not only build name recogniition but also help reorganise logistics systems and control the quality of  production chains.

Viet Nam has registered records in rice and coffee exports. Hence, brands would help improve those products’ competitiveness in global markets. Food producers should review supply chains and take advantage of geographical differences to improve trade mark value, he added.

A memorandum of understanding on co-operation in implementing the programme was signed this week by Vietrade, the Netherlands’ Centre for the Promotion of Imports from Developing Countries (CBI), and the European Trade Policy and Investment Support Project (EU-MUTRAP). — VNS




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