|Safe food products on display on the sidelines of a launch ceremony for the new Association for Food Transparency in HCM City on November 22. — VNS Photo|
HCM CITY — The Association of Food Transparency (AFT) made its debut in HCM City yesterday with the aim of connecting responsible players in the food production chain for the benefit of society and the environment.
AFT will also work to raise prestige and protect and create a favourable environment for producers and traders who offer safe, healthy food with transparency standards with the aim of expanding market share for the products at home and abroad.
AFT will also work to protect the interests of consumers and public health, as well as improve food production industry by promoting safe and transparent products.
Nguyễn Thị Hồng Minh, chairwoman of the Advocacy Committee for the establishment of AFT, said AFT includes 59 individuals and organisations, including owners of farms, co-operatives, agricultural startups, manufacturers, retailers, raw materials suppliers, and service providers.
AFT members who are safe-food producers will be transparent in offering information to consumers, with the aim of ensuring people’s health and future generations, she said.
Enterprises participating in AFT must have certification related to product quality such as HACCP, GLOBAL GAP, VIETGAP, organic certification, food safety and hygiene certification.
All members must also commit to provide transparent information about their products, protect people and community health, maintain prestige and quality of Vietnamese food, protect and develop brands and not compromise the association’s common interests or legitimate interests of other members.
Minh said “unsafe food was still widespread in the market, affecting people’s health.”
The use of plant protection chemicals in farming, antibiotics in animal breeding and preservatives in foodstuff is still common, and authorised agencies appear unable to control it, she said.
Many people remain concerned about what is safe to eat and drink, she said.
Dr Vũ Trọng Khải, member of the Việt Nam Agricultural Alliance, said many companies had invested in producing safe food products, but consumers do not trust them because inspection and certification systems have problems.
If the association can recover consumer trust, it will be a great success, he said.
Minh said the agricultural sector would not develop in a sustainable manner if producers did not work together to meet basic standards, quality and brand development in line with socio-economic development and consumer demand.
Safe food producers need to collaborate to market their products to win consumer trust, she added.
Huỳnh Thị Kim Cúc, deputy head of the Food Safety Management Board of HCM City, praised the establishment of the AFT, which she encouraged to work with State management agencies to help restore consumer trust in locally-made products as well as help consumers realise which products are safe.
At the event, Minh was elected the chairwoman of the AFT. — VNS