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ASC certification opens new door for Vietnam pangasius industry
December 20, 2012, 09:01 AM
(vasep.com.vn) In late November 2012, the ceremony titled “Celebrating Vietnam Pangasius Sector Achieving Responsible Production Target in 2012” was held in Ho Chi Minh city to honor the first five Vietnamese pangasius producers gaining ASC certification.

A local fish producer shared at the ceremony: “Pangasius was put on the red list of seafood species to avoid, but, today, our company has already signed a contract with a Sweden retailer to supply ASC-certified pangasius products. We have found more markets for fish with ASC label”.

“The global market has waited for long time for new products since allegations against Vietnam pangasius. It is necessary to further a clear and positive message on high quality pangasius products to consumers; and ASC certification can help persuade them to buy fish”.

“With new label, our company regains Sweden market that we lost 2 years ago. It is really a great solution to get export recover”, he said.

In 2011, Vietnam pangasius production reached about 1.3 million MT and accounted for 45 percent of national output of farmed fish.

“There is not any fish in the world that can reach such high proportion in the nationwide fishery industry like pangasius. However, it is important to note that the glorious period of mass production has definitely passed. Vietnam pangasius sector needs to quit the quantity-oriented fish producing method to find new way to develop sustainably,” said Nguyen Huu Dzung, Vice Chairman of Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP).

“ASC certification contributes to improve Vietnam pangasius image and prestige on the global market. It is the key to open the door to outside,” appreciated Pham Anh Tuan, Deputy Director of Vietnam Directorate of Fishery (D-Fish).

Pangasius products made up 30 percent of national revenue from seafood export and were sent to 136 countries and territories. After many years of considerable growth, pangasius production and export have been slowing down since 2008. This export-driven industry has even saw decline in some key consumer markets.

With the new ASC label, Vietnamese pangasius exporters and the fish industry will get more strength to compete with other suppliers to keep and develop their shares in key and potential destinations, especially in the crisis time when foreign consumers and importers have higher requirements for fish quality and value.

Currently, ASC-labeled pangasius products are ordered and distributed by retailers from Germany, the Netherlands and Sweden.

“We have overcome difficulties and challenges to assure the engagement to provide ASC-labeled fish which made up 10 percent of nationwide production in late 2012,” said Tran Minh Hien, Director of WWF Vietnam.

“The achievement was made by hard work of many pangasius companies, particularly those are pioneers in applying ASC standards in fish production chain”, she said.

According to Ms Hien, 50 percent of Vietnam pangasius output would receive ASC certificate by 2015. WWF committed to offer technical and financial assistances to help companies produce fish in the sustainable way. 

Ngọc Hà
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