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Opportunities to boost export of tra fish

13/11/2019

Previously, according to the Farm Bill 2014, concretisedby the USDA’s Siluriformes fish inspection programmeeffective from September 1, 2017, Vietnam had to build and organise its inspection system equivalent to the US’s in terms of three groups of criteria, namely the legal system on food quality and safety control; the law enforcement capacity of authorised agencies; and conditions for ensuring food safety and hygiene during the whole process from fry production, farming, transportation, process to continue exporting catfish, mostly tra fish, to the US.

Therefore, after more than three years of efforts to perfect the legal documents system as well as completing the production and processing process, Vietnamese tra fish products have been made eligible to be exported to such a demanding market on the basis of fully meeting the standards for quality control and inspection systems.

The move is considered to be a great opportunity for Vietnam's tra fish export to the US market, especially in the context of declining Vietnam’s tra fish export to the market. Vietnam posted a total export value of tra fish to the US at US$208.3 million in the first nine months of 2019, down 43.6% over the same period in 2018, which was a large decline over the past five years.

In addition, the recognition of FSIS is also an important basis for Vietnamese tra fish to assert its quality in many other key markets such as Europe, Brazil, Mexico, and others. Vietnam’s attainment of international standards will also contribute to shifting the domestic tra fish sector from small to large and sustainable production based on systematic control.

However, the Vietnamese tra fish sector has a lot of things to do in order to maintain a sustainable tra fish production and export and to avoid ups and downs like in the past time.

Vietnam should implement well the Siluriformes fish inspection system in tra fish production and trading to maintain the recognition from the US because after the recognition, the USDA continues to supervise and periodically re-inspect the Vietnam’s system of food safety control.

Vietnam also needs to continue improving the competitiveness to expand its export market as many countries have promoted the farming of tra fish, making Vietnamese tra fish no longer hold the monopoly position as it did for many years.

According to statistics from the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, India's tra fish output is now reaching 650,000 tonnes per year, Bangladesh’s output is 450,000 tonnes per year and Indonesia’s output is 110,000 tonnes per year. Tra fish products of these countries arecompeting fiercely with Vietnamese products. Therefore, it is forecast that the consumption market will see many fluctuations in the future, requiring the activeness and adaptation of processing enterprises, exporters, and farmers.

It is also necessary to increase links between productionand consumption and boost the application of advanced technology to all stages in order to fully meet the requirements of the domestic and world markets.

It requires the determination and actions of tra fish producers, exporters and authorized agencies to maintain a sustainable growth momentum for tra fish export and make enterprises feel secure to run their business.

Source: Nhan Dan