Increasing standard and quality compliance capacity of the Viet Nam’s tropical fruit value chains to promote exports
11 September 2023
In order to improve the competitiveness and sustainability of Viet Nam's tropical fruit export industry, on September 11, 2023 in Ho Chi Minh City, the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) in collaboration with the Viet Nam Institute of Agricultural Engineering and Post-harvest Technology (VIAEP) and the National Agro-Forestry-Fisheries Quality Assurance, Processing and Market Development (NAFIQPM) organized the workshop “Increasing standard and quality compliance capacity of the Viet Nam’s tropical fruit value chains to promote exports”.
About 200 delegates including representatives from agencies under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Ministry of Industry and Trade and Ministry of Science and Technology; Representatives of local authorities and enterprises from key provinces in Viet Nam's fruit production, processing, and export attended the workshop online and in-person.
The objective of the workshop is to disseminate the results of the project "Improving the quality standard capacity in the Mango and Pomelo value chains in the Mekong River Delta” period of 2020-2023 implemented by UNIDO in collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development in provinces such as Dong Thap, Tien Giang, Ben Tre...
In the opening remarks, Mr. Le Thanh Hoa, Deputy Director of National Agro-Forestry-Fishery Quality, Processing and Market Development Authority (NAFIQPM), Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development emphasized the importance of increasing quality and standard compliance capacity to promote Vietnamese fruit exports. Mr. Le Thanh Hoa said: “Viet Nam is an agricultural exporter and has achieved many achievements in recent years. Vegetables and fruits are key products that contribute greatly (about 20%) to export turnover. However, due to the regulations of importing countries, although there are free trade agreements, issues of quality standards and food safety still greatly affect the export of fruits and vegetables. The project has supported the export of fruits and vegetables in the past 3 years. According to MARD's assessment, these are very meaningful activities in improving the quality and standard compliance capacity of Viet Nam's fruit and vegetable industry to continue affirming its position and promoting exports. I hope that with the support of the project, Vietnamese fruit and vegetable products will continue to be developed with increasingly stronger brands.”
Ms. Le Thi Thanh Thao, UNIDO Representative in Viet Nam said that standardization in agriculture along with the application of scientific, technological and innovative solutions will pave the way for the sustainable development of Vietnamese agricultural products in the future. Ms. Le Thi Thanh Thao emphasized: “Phase 1 of the Global Quality and Standards Programme (GQSP), of which Viet Nam is one of 8 beneficiary countries, provided technical assistance to enhance compliance capacity for Mango and Pomelo in the Mekong River Delta. We hope that the experience of phase 1 will be applied to other tropical fruits.”
In his welcome remarks, Mr. Etienne Jenni - Programme Manager of the Trade Promotion Division at the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) said that: “Vietnam has become a world champion exporter and a major destination for foreign direct investment. However, in spite of these successes, there are still many companies that have difficulty accessing supply chains. In the agricultural sector, this is also due to their inability to meet standards, technical regulations and relevant market requirements. Switzerland therefore supports the Global Quality Standards Programme (GQSP), which aims to address these challenges and help Vietnamese agricultural producers access markets and benefit from trade liberalization.”
At the workshop, technical support models developed for mango and pomelo export value chains were disseminated, including Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) adoption, applying new post-harvest technology in commercial demonstration chains to manage fruit quality throughout the chain, from planting, disease treatment, harvesting, temperature management, transportation... to significantly increase storage time by 35% (e.g. increasing shelf life of mango up to 40 days, pomelo up to 120 days) allowing sea-freight export to distant markets. The models also built sustainability through a market-oriented approach to commercial viability, reduced post-harvest losses by 15%, diversified processed products for value addition, , adapted to climate change, efficiency and environmental responsibility.
The workshop emphasized the need to leverage synergies across tropical fruit sectors, and raised awareness about cross-sectoral issues, sustainability, climate change, digitalization, value addition and building capacity to effectively reach more actors with greater impact. Exporters, producers, associations, institutes, universities and industry management agencies at national and local levels had access to information about new market opportunities and share a common vision of development of the tropical fruit export industry as well as mutual awareness of common problems and obstacles.
The workshop is also an opportunity to strengthen connections and dialogue between the fruit industry, government, related service providers and stakeholders, and international partners on important issues identified along the fruit value chain, sharing possible solutions, and thereby translate them into recommendations for the development of appropriate industry policies to meet the fruit industry development goals set by the Government.
Also at this workshop, Mr. Nima Bahramalian, UNIDO’s Project Manager of Viet Nam Quality and Standards Program (GQSP Viet Nam), introduced a report analyzing the main reasons of rejections for Vietnamese food and feed exports in general and fruit in particular in 5 markets: Australia, China, EU, Japan, and the US for 10 years (from 2010 to 2020), including bacterial contamination (22%) and hygiene conditions/controls (18%), labeling (14%), veterinary drugs residues (13%), pesticide residues (10%), and additive (7%). The report also introduced Standards Compliance Analytics (SCA) Tool to identify the key challenges faced by exporting countries, compare countries' trade compliance performance across different markets and in relation to specific product groups, and provide recommendations on investment in quality infrastructure, quality policies and quality culture which are focused, interdisciplinary, and effective to improve compliance capacity and meet market requirements.
The rejection data in the global markets of the countries is also accessed at https://hub.unido.org/rejection-data/trade-rejection-analysis.
The phase 1 of Global Quality and Standards Program in Viet Nam (GQSP Viet Nam) is implemented by the United Nations Industrial Development Organization and funded by Switzerland through the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs to promote trade and competitiveness to facilitate markets access for SMEs.
Phase 2 of the Project will be implemented from October 2023 to 2026 and will focus on improving the competitiveness and sustainability of Vietnamese tropical fruit exports through innovation, diversification, and improvement of quality and standards compliance capacity to meet modern market requirements.
UNIDO will continue to support and cooperate closely with relevant ministries and sectors to expand technical support activities in the fruit industry in the coming time. The main objectives are to i) continue to improve the policy environment more favorable for the development of the industry, raise awareness and enhance quality culture; ii) strengthening capacity and quality infrastructure services; iii) enhance the capacity of small and medium enterprises to comply with quality standards.
This will help Viet Nam's tropical fruit industry be able to meet the requirements of export markets and take advantage of existing opportunities, which will in turn improve the economic efficiency and sustainable development of the industry.
For further information, please contact:
Ms. Hoang Mai Van Anh
Phone: +84 979 528 798