In order to produce organic agriculture, it is important for enterprises and farmers to ensure their credibility, and comply with the commitment of quality and model before reaching distributors and consumers. On the other hand, because it takes too much effort and money to invest, organic products must have an “organic selling price”…
Organic agricultural production is spreading more and more throughout the country. (Photo: Internet)
The Forum “Connecting and consuming organic agricultural products and processed products” organized by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development on the afternoon of September 28 is one of the activities to evaluate 3 years of implementing Decree No. 109/2018/ND-CP dated August 29, 2018, on organic agriculture.
VIETNAMESE ORGANIC AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTS CONQUER THE EU MARKET
Mr. Nguyen Quoc Toan, Director of the Department of Agricultural Processing and Market Development (Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development), said that after 3 years of implementing the Organic Agriculture Scheme, organic agricultural production is spreading more and more strongly throughout the country.
In 2021, the area of organic agricultural land in Vietnam reached over 174 thousand ha, up 47% compared to 2016, ranking 9th out of 10 countries with the largest area of organic agricultural land in Asia. In particular, the area of organic farming land is more than 63 thousand ha, the area of organic aquaculture is more than 100 thousand ha, and the area of the natural harvest of organic agriculture is more than 12 thousand ha.
“Vietnam’s export turnover of organic agricultural products reaches 335 million USD/year, exporting to 180 countries in the world, more than 17,000 producers, 555 processors, 60 organic agricultural exporters…”
Mr. Nguyen Quoc Toan, Director of Agricultural Processing and Market Development Department
Sharing the world organic consumption trend, Mr. Nguyen Minh Tien – Director of the Agricultural Trade Promotion Center commented that consumers are gradually becoming aware of the importance of organic products to the environment, human health, and creating sustainable ecosystems, especially in the context of post-Covid-19. The global organic product market has risen sharply to $188 billion by 2021 and is estimated to reach $208 billion by 2022.
“Currently, Vietnam’s organic agricultural products are best known in the European market. According to official EU statistics, retail sales of agricultural products in the EU market reached 45 billion euros. Germany is the largest market in Europe and the second-largest in the world with 11.97 billion euros in retail sales. The European organic market recorded a growth rate of 8.0% per year”, said Mr.Tien.
Mr. Pham Minh Duc, Vice President of Vietnam Organic Agriculture Association – CEO of Ecolink, shared: “In 2008 when we went to Europe, we found that Vietnamese tea did not have a good reputation for pesticide residues. Therefore, we ordered organic tea from farmers in Vietnam to export to the EU. Our experience is that tea in remote areas is of good quality. For example, Snow Shan tea in Ha Giang is more successful than tea in Thai Nguyen”.
According to Mr. Duc, from 2018 to 2022, there are 164 Vietnamese enterprises with 200 products with organic product certification from the US Department of Agriculture (USDA).
Dr. Nguyen Van Kien, Lecturer at the Australian National University, and also the Director of Mekong Organics Co., Ltd., said that the retail sales of organic agricultural products in Australia have increased to more than 2.5 billion Australian dollars (AUD). The Australian organic market grew by over 5% per year and particularly in the years of over 10% growth. However, the supply of organic products to Australia is small.
The Forum “Connecting and consuming organic agricultural products and processed products” organized by the MARD on Sept 28, 2022. (Photo: Internet)
Talking about opportunities for processed organic agricultural products to enter the Australian market, Dr. Kien shared that rice is the item with the best opportunities because the demand for organic rice far exceeds the supply. “Processed fruit and vegetable products enjoy favorable regulatory advantages, while commodities such as cashew nuts and macadamia come into this market need to be treated with carbon dioxide. Fish, shrimp, dried herbs and spices such as basil, cinnamon… if they are certified organic, they will have good prospects for development in this market “, Mr. Kien commented.
According to Dr. Kien, through the training network organized by Mekong Organics Co., Ltd. in the framework of the project “Promoting certification and trade in Australian – Vietnam organic agricultural products”, it is shown some small and medium enterprises have implemented organic certification according to international standards to export to difficult markets.
ORGANIC AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTION STILL HAS MANY DIFFICULTIES
Mr. Paul Le, Vice President of Central Retail Group, commented: “The Covid-19 pandemic is a lever for consumers like us to pay more attention to healthy products and also during the period of social distancing, we have more time to learn about health issues, increase the purchasing power of healthy products such as organic products.”
With the change in the world consumer behavior, Mr. Pau Le said that Vietnamese farmers need to focus on a good production, creating products with organic standards suitable to the needs of domestic and international markets. Besides, the price of organic products will decrease, following the capacity of the majority of consumers.
“Organic products must have “organic prices” because it takes too much effort and money to invest and maintain. Therefore, consumers should accept to buy organic agricultural products at higher prices than VietGAP and usual agricultural products “.
Ms. Tu Thi Tuyet Nhung, Head of Coordinating Committee of Organic Agriculture Standards of Vietnam Organic Agriculture Association.
Mr. Nguyen Hoang Anh, General Director of Southern Central Fisheries Investment Co., Ltd, said that organic agricultural production is facing many challenges in terms of material prices, labor, profits, and output,… Especially the lack of synchronism in production among the stages.
“The MARD and competent authorities develop standards for organic agricultural products, thereby controlling the standards. Thus, farmers and businesses will not be able to make a mess or lack synchronicity, ” Mr. Hoang Anh suggested.
According to Mr. Nguyen Hong Lam, Chairman of Directors of Que Lam Group, organic agriculture development now is facing 4 issues: Lack of trust between State management agencies, enterprises, and farmers; resource exploitation until exhausted; environmental pollution affecting the quality of agricultural products, producer health; consumer health, crops, and livestock. Only when these issues are solved can organic agriculture be considered truly successful.
Ms. Vu Kim Hanh, Chairman of the Association of Vietnamese High-Quality Good Enterprises, said that through the survey, Vietnamese consumers now choose to use products according to the criteria: Eye-catching, delicious, tasteful products (87%); safe products (80%); products with clear packaging (39%); and organic products (26%). Thus, it can be seen that organic products still account for a low proportion of the consumption picture.
According to Ms. Hanh, many people have not yet understood the definition of “organic”. Therefore, it is necessary to provide a simple, clear definition of the organic production model as a way of production that ensures 6 NO principles: No inorganic fertilizers; no pesticides; no herbicides; no genetically modified seeds; no growth promoters; no chemicals in soil and water.