According to a representative from the Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, Vietnamese agriculture, particularly the agro-forestry-fishery sector, has grown well in recent years. However, incomplete infrastructure for the production of high-quality products and poor marketing strategies, together with unstandardised human resources on export procedures, hygiene and techniques have resulted in a weak food processing industry.
In fact, most Vietnamese agricultural shipments are raw products with low-added value, he said.
Tools and mechanisms should be put in place to prevent trade counterfeit from the farming stage, he said, with human resources training needed so workers can master modern production.
Meanwhile, authorities must promote communication work to raise public awareness of the safe use of pesticides, as though many Vietnamese farmers have agreed to stop using chemicals, Japanese importers still found pesticide residue higher than permitted levels.
On processing and transporting, he suggested completing transport infrastructure and building ice storage systems to prevent post-harvest losses. Meanwhile, independent authorities should inspect the quality of the complete food.
Deputy Head of the Ministry of Industry and Trade’s Department of Asia-Africa Markets Do Quoc Hung said the state needs to complete legal frameworks in agricultural industry and complete an online database on market information and food safety and hygiene standards.
He also stressed the importance of human resources training via the state’s assistance programmes.
Forming a production value chain is important for Vietnamese firms if they want to partner with Japanese partners with stringent standards for imports, said Katsuki Kishi, General Director of the Aeon Topvalu Co., Ltd.
He said that developing strong brands with certificates from prestigious food verification agencies and green cultivating models are key as well.
At the event, the Japan Food Safety Certification was introduced to the participants by the Japan Food Safety Management Association.