At the 7th International Food Safety Forum (Photo: VNA)

HCM City (VNA) – Vietnamese consumers are becoming more concerned about the food they eat and have pressing needs for safe food, heard a forum in Ho Chi Minh City.

At the 7th International Food Safety Forum held by the World Bank Group’s International Finance Corporation on November 28-29, World Bank Country Director for Vietnam Osmane Dione said Vietnam needs to control the domestic food market more strictly.

Unsafe food cost Vietnam around 700 million USD a year and left effects on consumers’ health and lives, though the country earned 18 billion USD from exporting farm produce in 2017, according to the official.

He suggested the Vietnamese Government adopt policies to encourage the sustainable production and trade of safe food in the coming time.

Meanwhile, Gabor Fluid, Regional Director of Royal De Heus Asia, said Vietnam needs better control of food safety standards, and policies to encourage businesses and its partners to join in safe food production chains.

New Zealand Ambassador to Vietnam Wendy Matthews shared hat in her country, food safety has been built into a culture and responsibility for all people, from firms, farmers to consumers. If there is a food safety incident, the suppliers have to accept all responsibility, and face heavy fine.

She described legal regulations and science as the importance for managers to build brand names for local food, and control food safety.

The forum, themed “Better Food Safety, Better Business”, brought together key food industry insiders from around the world.

How to invest in food safety and develop food safety culture is the highlight of the event.

Participants get involved in discussions and seek solutions to promoting tougher standards for food supply chain.

The event is held for the first time in Vietnam, where the food industry witnesses a flourishing average growth of 15 percent, among the strongest growers in Asia.-VNA