Clean foods are sold at a supermarket. (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) and the Australian Embassy in Vietnam co-organised a forum on food safety, a pressing issue in the country, on November 11 in Hanoi.

Participants shared information about good approaches to ensure food safety and identified areas for future collaboration to support the growth of and enhance confidence in Vietnam’s agricultural and food sectors.

Addressing the event, Australian Ambassador to Vietnam Hugh Borrowman said Australia is keen to support Vietnam in strengthening food safety standards and modernising the food processing industry to bring benefits for people.

MARD Deputy Minister Vu Van Tam said food safety is a primary concern of the Vietnamese Government, expressing his hope that Australia will share experience in its management systems and food safety standards.

Participants also discussed commercial opportunities for both countries’ businesses in the agricultural sector.

Nguyen Xuan Hong, head of the Plant Protection Department said that Australia and Vietnam will have a chance to boost the trade in fruits as the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement, to which the two are signatories, is about to be enacted.

Currently, Vietnam is negotiating to ship dragon fruits and mangos to Australia as the Australian side pledged to open door for Vietnamese mangos from now to the end of this year.

Australia also expressed wishes that Vietnam will import Australian cherries and apples, Hong added.

Vietnamese businesses should work closely with their Australian partners to better understand the demand of the Australian fruit market, said Marion Healy, Deputy Executive Director of Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ).-VNA