By Thuy Dung - The Saigon Times Daily
HCMC – Relevant authorities have decided to put export agro-products under stricter inspection following warnings that Europe may ban imports of fruit and vegetable from Vietnam on grounds of safety.
The Plant Protection Department under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development said it would check 100% of export shipments and apply technical measures to minimize defects among agro-products shipped to Europe.
Nguyen Xuan Hong, head of the department, said the agriculture ministry had sent Dispatch 05 to related agencies in provinces, ordering them to strengthen check and supervision for agro-products bound for the European market.
The reason is that several shipments to EU by local agro-product exporters over the past time have been detected to violate the importer’s regulation on food safety, as pests and microorganism have been found.
The export ban threat from the EU is extremely high, so the department has decided on 100% check to ensure the quality of products. At the same time, it has informed EU counterparts of Vietnam’s effort in improving this issue.
Exporters bemoan new solution
Most exporters lamented they had confronted with countless difficulties since local authorities executed stricter supervision. Many of them may even be driven to the verge of bankruptcy if the Government has no solutions to help them apart from the current inspection.
Director Vo Minh Loc of Tan Loc Mai General Service Ltd. Co., said his firm’s business activity since late last year had encountered multiple obstacles due to strict criteria given by EU partners. His company has almost had no shipment exported to EU with checks enhanced at the agriculture ministry’s request.
Loc asserted if the above situation was not improved, his firm’s revenue this year would drop about 80% year-on-year.
Thus, Loc insisted on more practical solutions from management authorities instead of checks and inspections only like now.
Tan Loc Mai is experimentally planting vegetables on 4,000 square meters in line with Vietnamese Good Agriculture Practices (VietGAP). However, this company has yet to receive any confirmation from the agriculture ministry on whether its cultivation area is qualified for the criteria to ship products to the EU or not.