From 2025, agricultural products exported to the EU must ensure that production does not cause deforestation. Vietnam is a country that is not at high risk of forest loss. However, it is necessary to strengthen the construction of a sustainable supply chain for Vietnamese agricultural products to access deeper to the EU market.
The coffee industry will be affected by the EU’s regulations on non-deforestation goods.
The above information was raised by Mr. Rui Ludovino – The First Counsellor of Policies on Climate, Environment, Employment, and Social Issues of the EU Delegation in Vietnam at the seminar “Production and trade of agricultural products not causing deforestation”, which took place on April 25, 2023.
This seminar was organized by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in collaboration with the General Department of Forestry (Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development of Vietnam – MARD) on the sidelines of the 4th Global Conference on Food Systems. The seminar aims to share the latest information from the European Union (EU) on the preparation steps to implement the EU’s Non-Deforestation Goods Regulation.
WOOD AND COFFEE INDUSTRIES WILL BE IMPACTED BY THE NEW EU REGULATIONS
Mr. Tran Quang Bao, Director of the Department of Forestry (MARD), said that agricultural farming is considered one of the large-scale land use industries. The expansion of the land area to develop agriculture in the world today is the main cause of forest loss and the narrowing of the forest land area.
In that context, more than 140 countries covering 90% of the global forests are signatories to the Glasgow Declaration on land and forest use, which commits to “prevent and reverse” deforestation and land degradation by 2030. At the same time, it brings about sustainable development and promotes inclusive rural transformation.
Therefore, the production and trade of agricultural products need to be oriented towards sustainable development along the value chain, not expanding the area but increasing the quality and value of products as well as enhancing livelihoods for the community.
The seminar “Production and trade of agricultural products not causing deforestation”.
To specify its commitment to “prevent and reverse” deforestation and land degradation, Europe has passed bills banning the import of items related to deforestation. Accordingly, export and import companies have to trace the origin of imported products sold on the European market whether or not they are produced in deforested areas.
“The production and trade of agricultural products need to be oriented towards sustainable development along the value chain. Accordingly, we do not expand the area but increase the quality and value of products as well as enhance livelihoods for the community. At the same time, strengthen the exchange, discussion, and learning experiences from international partners on good practices to build a roadmap for the development of Vietnam’s agricultural products in the direction of sustainability and not causing deforestation in the coming time ”, Mr. Bao emphasized.
“The wood and coffee industries will be greatly impacted by the EU regulations. Therefore, countries need to have a monitoring system to ensure that agricultural products are not involved in forest loss in the supply chain. ”
Mr. Rui Ludovino, Counsellor of the EC in Vietnam.
Sharing the latest regulations from the EU, Mr. Rui Ludovino, First Counsellor of Policies for Climate, Environment, Employment, and Social of the EC in Vietnam, said that the EC has just introduced a bill to ban the import of agricultural products whose production reduce forest area.
This bill will come into effect after 18 months of publication, which means that around Dec 2024 or Jan 2025 at the latest. Small and medium-sized enterprises will be delayed for another six months after this deadline. Importers and exporters need to know this to meet the requirements of the EU market.
“The EU will issue some guidelines, but countries must be prepared to control their supply chains. Vietnam is a country that is not at high risk of forest loss thanks to forest protection policies. But Vietnam needs to strengthen further the supply chain to help agricultural products access deeper to the EU market, ” Mr. Rui Ludovino noted./.