|A farmer feeds pigs on a farm in Mỹ Lộc District, Nam Định Province. — Photo dtk.com.vn|
HCM CITY — The Vietnamese Ministry of Agricultural and Rural Development (MARD) met with the Ministry of Environment and Food of Denmark (MFVM) on Tuesday in HCM City at a conference on safe management of the pork product value chain.
The conference’s goal was to raise awareness for both farmers and consumers in Việt Nam. The guiding principle was “from farm to fork”, and the discussions spanned areas such as feed, veterinary medicine, chemicals and product origin.
Phùng Hữu Hào, deputy head of the National Agro-Forestry-Fisheries Quality Assurance Department (NAFIQAD) under the MARD, said at the conference that Denmark has one of the world’s top food quality control systems, and Việt Nam looks forward to collaborating with Danish agencies.
Commenting on agricultural and animal husbandry in Việt Nam, Finn Clemmensen, Senior Counselor of the Food and Veterinary Management Department under the MFVM, stated that despite the presence of numerous associations in these fields, actual inspection and monitoring of farms and businesses are usually done by government agencies.
According to Clemmensen, after a field tour, he noted that several slaughterhouses did not strictly obey safety and sanitary procedures, and the whole pork production business is in need of further regulation. He emphasised the need for a complete and safe value chain to ensure the benefits of domestic consumers and the potential for Vietnamese pork exports.
Representatives from the NAFIQAD agreed with Celemmensen, stating that while Danish pig farms are all numbered and registered before the authorities, in Việt Nam there are around 4.5 million unregistered household farms with about 29,000 slaughterhouses. This has greatly inconvenienced State run agencies responsible for pork safety and quality control.
Until 2020, relevant agencies will continue implementing annual origin inspections for animal products, along with projects ensuring food safety in transporting and slaughtering cattle and poultry. Agencies will also enhance international co-operation in the field, said Huỳnh Thị Thanh Bình, head of the Community Veterinary Division under the Department of Animal Health.
The two countries have been working together since 2013, after the signing of a protocol on food safety control between the MARD and the MFVM. In 2016, both sides agreed to implement strategic pork value chain co-operation to take place between 2017 and 2018.
To honour this co-operation agreement, Danish MFVM will grant about US$45,000 to Việt Nam, together with field experience and technical support from experts and administrative departments from Denmark. The objective is to enhance capability among Vietnamese authoritative agencies to help them chart their own sustainable strategies in food safety control. — VNS