The signing ceremony. (Photo: VNA)
 
HCM City (VNA) - The High Quality Vietnam Products Business Association, the American Chamber of Commerce in Vietnam and the Washington-based Global Food Safety Forum have signed a memorandum of understanding on co-operation in food safety.

Herb Cochran, AmCham Executive Director, called food safety an issue of concern in both Vietnam and the US.

“The first objective of the MoU is to help Vietnamese companies join global food supply chains under the US Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) International Food Safety Capacity Building Plan,” he said.

The US imports 15 percent of its food, 20 percent of vegetables, 50 percent of fruit and 80 percent of seafood.

The US Congress requires that the “FDA develop an International Food Safety Capacity Plan to help foreign and food industries that export food to the US.”

The US FDA will provide “training of foreign governments and food producers on US requirements for safe food. To reach our objective, we will arrange delegation visits to the US and Vietnam, workshop and town hall meetings, websites in English and Vietnamese, Internet-based training programmes targeting company managers, technicians, and official representatives from safety regulatory agencies, special on-site training at Vietnamese companies.”

In March, a delegation will visit the US to meet with parties in the US Congress, US government agencies including FDA, USDA, USTR, USAID, State and Commerce, as well as business associations such as the International Food and Beverage Alliance.

In April, Dr. Rick Gilmore, founder and CEO of Global Food Safety Forum, will visit Vietnam on an exploratory mission to establish contacts, hold workshops, plan future events, and gauge the needs of relevant parties in business and government, he said.

“Our co-operation under the MoU will help both Vietnam and the US Government and business implement TPP and TFA (WTO’s Trade Facilitation Agreement). Ratification is an important legal step. Equally important is that businesses and government co-operate to understand and meet the food safety requirements.”

The signing ceremony was part of a year-end party of the Leading Business Club.-VNA