Speaking at a meeting held to discuss the issue, Le Ngoc Dao, the department's deputy chairwoman, said companies planned to increase supply from last year and were committed to keeping prices stable before, during and after Tet, with some even cutting prices during the run-up to the festival.
The value of goods they would stock during a two-month period straddling Tet would be VND16.2 trillion (US$723 million), 2.9% more than last year, she said.
Saigon Co.op - which owns the Co.opmart and other retail chains - for instance, would stock more than 95,000 tonnes of goods, including 16,000 tonnes of fruits, vegetables, poultry meat, and pork and more than 12 million chicken eggs.
The supply of flowers to city markets is expected to increase by 20-30% this year, while their prices would remain steady, according to Dao.
Demand for beer and beverages is expected to go up by at least 30% compared to normal months.
Besides increasing supply by 10-20%, confectionary producers also plan to launch new products.
Overall, there would be abundant supply of goods at good quality and reasonable prices during Tet, she promised.
Outlets for safe products
Nguyen Ngoc Hoa, the department's deputy chairman, said consumers, increasingly concerned about food safety and hygiene and the traceability of products, were willing to pay higher prices for safe products.
The supply of products that meet hygiene and safety standards was still much lower than demand, he said.
He said five companies – Saigon Trading Group (Satra), Saigon Co.op, Vissan, Sagrifood, and Anh Dao Co-operative — registered to distribute products meeting VietGap and other quality standards at a total of 246 sales points.
Satra registered to distribute safe vegetables at two Satramart supermarkets and 67 Satrafood outlets and VietGap pork at 75 Satrafood stores.
Nguyen Ngoc Nam, deputy general director of Vissan, said his company has started selling VietGap certified pork and beef meeting ESCAS standard at all of its 221 stores and fresh meat trading stalls at retail stores like Co.opmart, Co.op Food, and Satrafood in the city.
Hoa said Saigon Co.op registered to sell more than 4,224 food products and foodstuffs, fruits and vegetables, and poultry eggs and meat that meet ISO, HACCP, GMP, and VietGap at all of its 176 stores, consisting of 78 Co.opmart supermarkets and two Co.opXtra and 96 Co.op Food outlets.
Nguyen Thanh Nhan, general director of Saigon Co.op, said, "We assure that all products distributed at our 176 stores meet quality and hygiene and food safety standards."
From yesterday Saigon Co.op was also selling VietGap certified pork at its Co.opmart supermarkets and Co.opXtra and Co.op Food outlets in HCM City, he said. It would co-operate with other localities to begin selling VietGap pork at all its stores around the nation, he said.
Hoa said the department would monitor all retail sales to ensure quality.