Vietnam uses Eco-Fair project to promote sustainable agriculture

The European Union (EU) and related partners have sponsored €1.5 million to the project ‘Promotion of Supply and Demand of Eco-Fair Agricultural Food Processing Products in Vietnam’ (Eco-Fair). This project is seen as a lever to encourage sustainable production and consumption practices in the supply chain of ecological agricultural products, greatly contributing to the growth of circular economy in the nation.

The bitter gourd farm of Thuy Duong Cooperative in Thua Thien – Hue Province is following the ecology farming model

When working in Nestle Vietnam Co., Truong Thanh Vien always felt sorry for domestic farmers, who normally have to work hard but sell raw produce with a remarkably cheap price to large corporations, which will then process those crops and upgrade their value to bring about fame thanks to delicious food.

Vien considered a startup project to create a brand of agricultural products for the Vietnamese, and Organic Cashew Cooperative was born in 2017 in Ninh Thuan Province. The cooperative now manages 5,000ha of cashew field, which meets the criteria of Organic USDA, EU.

Vien often provides advice and instructions for farmers to grow cashew naturally without using pesticides. In addition, all varieties grown at have gone through strict censoring for a clear origin to ensure transparency for customers.

A similar case of ecological agricultural product promotion is Minh Phu Social Enterprise (member of Minh Phu Seafood JSC.), located in Ca Mau Province. It carries out certified ecological shrimp farming projects in mangrove forests of Ngoc Hien District, while protecting and developing these forests at the same time.

With a total area of over 9,700ha and more than 2,000 household members, tt has been successful in establishing a brand image and enhancing the value of organic shrimp. Its products are exported to global markets in the US, the EU, Canada, and Japan.

Agricultural experts voiced that to promote ecological agriculture in Vietnam, it is necessary to increase information dissemination and strengthen connections among farms, distribution businesses, and consumers.

President of Vba-Food Agricultural Distribution and Production JSC. Le Hoang Sam shared that to provide a stable output for agricultural products, his organization is working with Eco-Fair on a feasible solution to develop a full agricultural ecosystem in Vietnam, where each member shares the same orientation and interests.

Head of the Vietnam Rural Industries Development and Research Institute (VIRI) cum Director of Eco-Fair said that the project has a mission to change the behaviors of organizations and individuals to actively improve the environment.

This project trains over 1,000 businesses and propagandizes sustainable consumption to more than 1 million people. Around 200 companies have passed a brief evaluation on effective use of natural resources and clean production. They, in turn, can connect to international clients who have a wish for sustainable consumption, with a prediction to increase their produce agricultural product sales by 30 percent.

Head of the Cooperation Board of EU in Vietnam Koen Duchateau shared that for many decades, the EU has been the leader in addressing global issues like climate change, environment improvement, and sustainable manufacturing and consumption. Eco-Fair offers a great chance for Vietnam to form a more sustainable agriculture as a joint effort of stakeholders, including policy makers.

To Hai Yen, Coordinator of Eco-Fair, affirmed that food processing businesses in fields of rice, cashew, vegetables, fruits, aquaculture, and poultry can join in online training about sustainable production. In addition, small and medium enterprises can receive support when adopting ecological practices for a more sustainable growth.

These companies can then be aided in Resource Efficient and Cleaner Production (RECP), sustainable product innovation, ecology certification receipt, equity, packaging designing, market connectivity, access to green finance.

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