Mekong Delta seafood farmers could do better

The Fish Site
by The Fish Site
27 December 2006, at 12:00am

VIET NAM - Seafood exports fetched Viet Nam more than US$3 billion, contributing a significant portion of the countrys total exports of almost $40 billion reports Thuy Anh for VNS.

But it can do even better with better marketing, as delegates agreed at two seminars held last week in HCM City.

International seafood expert Herby Neubacher, a German who works for the HCM City-based Viet Nam Food Promotion Company, said the country should widely publicise its seafood products, a cheap but effective means of promotion.

"There are still buyers who buy Pangasius (basa catfish) but do not know anything more about the fish except the price," he said.

The Ministry of Fisheries realises the importance of marketing. Deputy Minister Nguyen Thi Hong Minh said her ministry had identified the creation of a national brand as a priority for the sustainable development of the seafood industry.

It is already working with the Viet Nam Chamber of Commerce and Industry to create a national brand for Vietnamese seafood.

"To compete internationally, the industry needs to produce more high-quality products and meet international sanitary standards in breeding and processing while reducing production costs," she said further.

With foreign consumers increasingly demanding ‘clean’ seafood, processors should make an effort to control the antibiotic and other chemical residues in their products.

Akio Kamimura, president of Japan’s Seafood Trading Association, listed the shortcomings of Viet Nam’s fisheries industry: Many processing plants and cold storages were small, and hygiene checks on marine products not so stringent.

Viet Nam’s seafood exports to Japan had increased significantly in recent years, he said, but stressed cleanliness and safety were the foremost requirements for Japanese customers.

TheFishSite News Desk