Photo: Hai Van
Agreement signed on building and implementing Vietnam Food Branding Strategy Program.
A memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed on October 4 on building and implementing the Vietnam Food Branding Strategy Program and increasing the value of agricultural products either produced or processed in Vietnam.
The Vietnam Trade Promotion Agency (Viettrade) under the Ministry of Industry and Trade, the Center for the Promotion of Imports from Developing Countries (CBI) and the European Trade Policy and Investment Support Project (EU-MUTRAP) held the signing ceremony for the MoU and also a workshop on the program.
Participants included Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Do Thang Hai, Deputy of Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development Tran Thanh Nam, H.E. Bruno Angelet, EU Ambassador to Vietnam, H.E. Nienke Trooster, Ambassador of the Netherlands in Vietnam, and representatives from ministries, industries and enterprises.
The signing ceremony and workshop are “the beginning of promoting activities in the program and implementing strategies in the future,” Mr. Hai told the ceremony. He also told VET that “we hope the building of the program will strengthen trade promotion and support in potential sectors in Vietnam.”
Ambassador Angelet said that food in Vietnam is fantastic and “what people don’t really know is a lot of food is exported, and it is amazing to see how Vietnam manages to produce and export coffee, shrimp, cashew nuts, and pepper,” he told VET. “These are a few problems in the structure and the capacity to process and export. I think the MoU we signed today will help Vietnam to integrate and develop trade. It is also a great opportunity to develop product brands.”
Ensuring quality remains a difficult task. In order to build sustainable branding development, Vietnam needs to focus on quality assurance and ensuring food safety. Vietnamese food enterprises “need to maintain special features and have good communication campaigns,” said Mr. Bui Huy Son, Head of Viettrade.
Mr. Cao Ken, Vice Secretary General of the Vietnam Coconut Association, believes that Vietnamese enterprises meet various challenges in promoting food brands. “The biggest difficulty for enterprises is building brands, because they do not have full awareness about branding and about 90 per cent enterprises have to pay to build their brands,” he told VET.
Starting in 2014, the aim of the program is to build and promote Vietnamese food branding and to increase awareness and recognition of the value of Vietnamese food products. The program is divided into four stages. In 2016 the Ministry of Industry and Trade and enterprises and associations completed the first and second stage. The third stage being is implemented from March 2016 to March 2017, and the final stage will feature consultancy and communication campaigns.