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Food Safety Is The Biggest Challenge For Vietnam In The Upcoming Years

Professor Luu Duan, the newly ordained Fellow of IAFoST, Vice president of VAFoST - long-term supporting organisation of PROPAK VIETNAM 2016, shares his views on the biggest concern of Vietnam food industry and the growing trends after TPP as well as the supporting plan of VAFoST to support the local industry.

Professor Luu Duan is a familiar orator for workshops on food industry at PROPAK VIETNAM
Ho Chi Minh City, 21 December 2015 - Economic experts state that Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) which Vietnam has just successfully signed with other 11 countries opens for Vietnam not only many opportunities to boost up industries but also many challenges to overcome. In these, food industry, especially agricultural products, becomes one of the biggest concerns of the society since Vietnam has large natural re-sources and huge volumes of products, but still lack of high standards of production to ensure the food safety. It is undeniable to say that food safety is the main focal point to decide whether Vietnam food industry can win or loose after the door is opened for all the big international competitors. 
 
The PROPAK VIETNAM media team has caught up with Professor Luu Duan, the newly ordained Fellow of IAFoST, Vice president of VAFoST and also a famous speaker for the food conferences in PROPAK VIETNAM to find out more about his views on food safety in Vietnam, the growing trends for the industry as well as upcoming activities of VAFoST to support the local industry.
 
Joining TPP and many economic partnerships with the world, what are the key challenges agricultural sector will face?
Professor Luu Duan: " Taking TPP as an example, TPP allows each country to promote own their strengths. To Vietnam, our biggest strengths are agricultural sector, agricultural products, leather production and textile industry. In leather and textile industries we mainly need to deal with human resource. Agricultural sector is different. What we face is not just the workforce but also the technologies to ensure the quality of the seeds, the products, food safety, the sensory, the nutrition, etc. In these, food safety is the biggest challenge for Vietnam in the upcoming years especially when we have just signed TPP with other 11 countries.

Food industry is also facing with economic and cultural difficulties for example price competition and local as well as regional consumers’s interest. We still have many good quality manufacturers but we also have a lot of small manufacturers who still lack of competitiveness in the market.

Last but not least, culture is also one of the obstacles for the development of food industry in Vietnam after TPP. Most of high and middle class of Vietnamese people prefer foreign products rather than local ones leading to the bad affects (bad image) of the local industry, especially Vietnamese good quality products. 

In general, in my opinion, jumping to TPP, Vietnam’s food industry both has opportunities and challenges especially in technology level and how we occupy the market."

As you have mentioned about the huge influence of food safety to the local market after TPP, does VAFoST - as the representative of food science and technology sector have any action plan to support the local industry players?
Professor Luu Duan: " Food safety is the concern and responsibility of not only VAFoST but also all the social sectors. In agriculture, many manufacturers use forbidden chemical substances to boost up the production or to reserve the products which have bad effects on consumer’s health. In many cases, the manufacturers, themselves do not know the origin as well as the effects of these chemicals.

With this situation, VAFoST roles are to:

 • Propagandise and consult manufacturers and consumers to clearly understand the bad effects of forbidden chemicals and the allowed dose for other substances.
 •  Organise trainings about food safety, and cooperate, support organizations and companies in food safety ensuring programs.
 •  Research and develop new substances from the nature to replace the bad chemical substances.
 •  Update and spread out new information and knowledge from all over the world to local enterprises.

In the way supporting businesses in the recent years, we have found that many governmental organization and manufacturers have invested and built up equipment systems, as well as tools to evaluate the safety of food. However, many small manufacturers still do not have enough resources to equip themselves with high technologies. On top of that, the government and scientific organizations have responsibilities in educating, heightening up awareness, ethic values and encouraging good actions to ensure food safety in manufacturers and consumers."

As known, VAFoST supports boosting up local food industry by a series of activities in the upcoming years, could you share with PROPAK VIETNAM 2016 some highlights in 2016 and 2017?
Professor Luu Duan: " VAFoST will continue boost up the “Voluntary Professors” Program, inviting the top international professors from IUFoST to come to Vietnam to share their own experience and consult freely for all manufacturers and young scientists. This is the golden opportunity for the local industry leaders to update new knowledge and trends. These professors will also teach for student community and support researchers.

On the academic side, VAFoST keeps going on building food science and technology training programs which are recognized by IUFoST, organising product idea contests for university students, gathering and encouraging young scientists to join in local and international competitions and write international newspapers as well as encouraging them to find for international scholarship for further researches. In 2016, we will nominate young scientists to join in International Food Conference in Ireland.

On the business side, we promote and develop the information network for food industry to reach enterprises through forums, consulting and cooperating programs with enterprises and co-organised many training sections regarding to food industry. As the tradition, VAFoST supports businesses to connect globally and help bringing Vietnamese brands to the world.

In the upcoming two years: 2016 and 2017 are very important to VAFoST, we continue organising many events and conferences in Vietnam as well as the region in general. For example, we will organises big conferences in key events of food industry such as PROPAK VIETNAM 2016 - The Leading International Exhibition and Conference for Food Packaging, Processing Industry for Vietnam Market.

We are always striving to send the industry leaders of Vietnam to join in the regional conferences in Taiwan, Korea, Thailand and IUFoST’s conferences (Dublin, Ire-land).

Especially, in 2017, Vietnam will host the ASEAN Food Conference (AFC). This is the second time Vietnam has hosted this event, the first time was in 2003. The event is a very important scientific forum for ASEAN food industry and the region industry in general, attracting key delegates from Korea, Japan, Australia, etc and also is an im-portant milestone of Vietnam’s food industry.

Sharing more, VAFoST and Vietnam Institute of Agriculture Engineering and Post Harvest Technology have received the official dispatch from Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development to be the organizers of ASEAN Food Conference 2017. The conference expects to gather 700 to 800 delegates who are industry scientists, leaders and enterprises in ASEAN and the world." 

 

Thank you Professor Luu Duan for your sharings.

- End -

Additional Information:

About International IUFoST:
The International Union of Food Science and Technology (IUFoST), a country-membership organisation is the global voice of food science and technology. It is a voluntary, non-profit federation of national food science organisations linking the world's food scientists and technologists.

IUFoST promotes the advancement of global food science and technology through its education pro-grammes, workshops, regional symposia and through IAFoST the International Academy of Food Sci-ence and Technology. For more information, please visit: http://www.iufost.org/about-iufost

About Vietnam Association of Food Science and Technology (VAFoST)
The Vietnam Association of Food Science and Technology (VAFoST) was established in 1996 as a professional community of food scientists, technologists, manufacturers and managers from research institutes, universities, government agencies and stakeholders in the food industry in Vietnam. VAFoST now has 300 members across the countries with the headquarters located in Hanoi and the international rela-tions office incorporated with the faculty of Food Technology at Saigon Technology University.

VAFoST is a member of VUSTA - the Vietnam Union of Science & Technology Associations. VAFoST is an adhering body of IUFoST (International Union of Food Science and Technology), and FIFSTA (the regional FST federation for ASEAN countries). For more information about Vietnam Association of Food Science and Technology (VAFoST), please visit: http://vafost.com.vn/

About PROPAK VIETNAM 2016:
PROPAK VIETNAM is Vietnam’s premier food, drink and pharmaceutical packaging, sourcing and net-working trade event for the packaging industry. Since its first edition in 2003, the event is now in its 12th showing, and its 11th showing in Ho Chi Minh City. The exhibition offers industry professionals in Vietnam an industry marketplace with high quality equipment, services and solutions currently available in the global marketplace. PROPAK VIETNAM is project managed by the Representative Office in Vietnam of Singapore Exhibition Services Pte. Ltd. with VCCI Exhibition Service Co Ltd. as the local organiser. For more information about the events, please visit: www.propakvietnam.com

PROPAK VIETNAM 2016 at a glance:
• Show Title: PROPAK VIETNAM 2016 
• Incorporate with: PLASTICS & RUBBER VIETNAM 2016
• Venue: Saigon Exhibition & Convention Center (SECC)
• Address: 799 Nguyen Van Linh Parkway, Tan Phu Ward, District 7, Ho Chi Minh City
• Date: 1 - 3 March, 2016 (Tues - Thurs)
• Time: 0900hrs –1700hrs
• Online Pre-Registration: www.propakvietnam.com/pre-reg
• Admission: For Business and Trade Only

Media contacts 
Nathalie Ngo
Public Relation & Conference Executive
Singapore Exhibition Services, Vietnam Representative Office
Tel: (+84) 8 3930 7618 (Ext: 108)
Email: nathaliengo@vietallworld.com

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