Nguyễn Ngọc Hòa, deputy director of HCM City’s Department of Industry and Trade, said that food sold at supermarkets should meet VietGap (Vietnamese Good Agricultural Practices) or global standards. VNS Photo Văn Châu
HCM CITY – Authorities in HCM City are helping neighbouring provinces produce safe foods as 80 per cent of seafood is supplied by other cities and provinces to the city.
Safe supply chains are crucial to ensure that farm and fishery produce are supervised, according to Phạm Khánh Phong Lan, head of the city’s Food Safety Management Board.
To find safe food supply sources for the city, authorities have helped local firms complete food safety procedures and standards and apply hi-tech to production of safe foods.
Farms, producers and traders in HCM City and 12 provinces have received certifications to take part in a pilot food safety chain model.
The Food Safety Management Board continues to work with neighbouring provinces to create safe supply chains for agricultural and fishery produce, create favourable conditions for suppliers, and co-ordinate food safety oversight and inspection.
Nguyễn Ngọc Hòa, deputy director of the city’s Department of Industry and Trade, said that supermarket chains must improve their food safety requirement standards. To enter supermarkets, the food should meet VietGap (Vietnamese Good Agricultural Practices) or global standards.
The city is also seeking to improve the traceability of agricultural produce sold through traditional retail channels.
It aims to have all goods at traditional retail channels meet VietGap standards, have proper packaging and labelling, and be traceable through mobile phones, according to the department.
The most traditional markets, which account for most of the food distributed in the city, sell goods whose origins are not traceable and do not keep records or receipts.
Many farmers are still struggling to enter data using modern technology, while unstable internet connections in remote areas are slowing down the uploading of data.
A key solution to boost consumption of farm produce would be to increase connections among producers and distributors.
The city has held activities to promote farmers’ products to consumers through trade fairs, workshops and promotion campaigns inside and outside the country.
Better linkages between farmers and businesses will also help producers and distributors reduce losses, and prevent a big drop in prices when there is abundant supply, according to experts.
With a population of around 12 million, HCM City consumes about 660,000 tonnes of rice, 85,000 tonnes of sugar, 210,000 tonnes of pork, 130,000 tonnes of poultry meat, one million tonnes of vegetables, 130,000 tonnes of seafood and one billion eggs, according to statistics. – VNS