Viet Nam News
HÀ NỘI — Nearly 100 representatives attended a one-day workshop called “Scaling up the trust networks for food safety with small farmers,” held today in Hà Nội.
The workshop was organised by the Belgium Embassy in Việt Nam in co-operation with the Hà Nội University of Public Health (HUP), the International Livestock Research Institute in Việt Nam and the Food and Agriculture Oganisation of the United Nations (FAO).
Professor Bùi Thị Thu Hà, principal of HUP, said the objective of the workshop is to explore available support for safe food supply networks to give out recommendations for scaling up trust networks for food safety and to discover the needs and opportunities for information exchange and traceability.
Food safety is currently the prime focus of the Government of Việt Nam.
The report "Việt Nam food safety risks management: challenges and opportunities" by the World Bank and its partners aims to support and enhance management and risk assessment capacity of food safety for the Government.
According to the report, recognising the role and responsibility of agents in food safety networks, particularly the role of small-scale production and traceability, are important tasks for the future.
Professor Hà said the workshop would provide comprehensive and necessary information on specific identification methods for actors in the food supply chain, thereby enhancing consumers’ trust, providing some directions to build credible relationships between actors in the supply chain.
“This platform creates a support foundation that enables small scale safety food chains to access the market more efficiently,” she said.
Jehanne Roccas, Ambassador of Belgium, said Belgium and Việt Nam both cherished a diverse culture of good food, which was freshly prepared and produced mostly by small farmers.
“However, food safety is a real problem in Việt Nam, and the factual analysis of the risks is different from the picture people have and the messages in the newspapers. The food scare, sometimes started by competitors in the market, could lead to measures that affect the culture, identity and livelihood of millions, without even improving safety much,” she said.
Belgium too had its food scandals, but the country used the outcry against these crimes to bring producers, consumers and legislators together to restore trust.
“Each solution for food safety must build on the remaining trust between producers, retailers and consumers. This experience brings us to support this workshop,” she said.
The right of every consumer to safe-enough affordable and convenient goods and the duty of the sector to provide this food is the baseline for the food sector, she said. — VNS