A mushroom farm in the Central Highlands province of Kon Tum (Photo: VNA)

HCM City (VNA) – Failing to meet food safety regulations remains the biggest issue that Vietnamese firms must overcome in entering foreign markets, said Rick Gilmore, Chairman of the Global Food Safety Forum at a workshop in Ho Chi Minh City on April 26.

He noted that currently, few food products of Vietnam gets food safety certificates, while the abuse of antibiotics and chemicals still remains.

He pointed that in the 2014-2016 period, Vietnam’s shrimp export volume to the US fell 32 percent with over 1,000 batches refused due to food safety barriers. Vietnam’s catfish also faced the same problem, he said.

From September this year, the US will start applying an inspection programme on catfish. Accordingly, catfish imported to the country will be re-tested every three months, said Gilmore.

He recommended that Vietnamese firms should take food safety as a serious matter, thus ensuring the observation of all relevant regulations during the farming process.

He suggested the businesses to enhance added value for their products, such as organic and environmental friendly factors while entering choosy markets such as the US and EU.

Meanwhile, Vu Kim Hanh, President of the Quality Vietnamese Products Business Association, highlighted efforts of some pioneering enterprises in applying international standards in producing safe and organic agricultural products in Vietnam, such as VinEco and Vinamit.

This is a good signal in the process of building Vietnamese agricultural products’ trademarks at global scale, she held.

The workshop, themed “Global food safety trends: Solutions to boost export for Vietnamese firms,” was organised by the Business Studies and Assistance Centre.-VNA