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Seafood processors urged to focus on sustainability

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VIETNAM, April 26 –

Workers process tra fish at the Sao Mai Group factory in Đồng Tháp province. The EU has remained one of the largest seafood importers from Việt Nam for years. — Photo VNA/VNS Vũ Sinh

HÀ NỘI — Seafood processors in Việt Nam urged to invest in sustainability to increase exports to the EU.

According to Vietrade deputy director Lê Hoàng Tài, the EU has remained one of Việt Nam’s largest seafood importers for years. Entering into force from 2020, the EU-Việt Nam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) provided Việt Nam with even greater access to the EU market, with the elimination of all customs duties on aquatic products in seven years.

Việt Nam’s aquatic exports reached $2.4 billion in the first quarter of 2022, up 40% from last year.

Shipments of tra fish to the EU totaled $28 million in the first two months of this year, up 76% year-on-year, while those for shrimp reached $159 million, up 66%, thanks to the rebound in demand after the pandemic.

Last year, Việt Nam exported over $1 billion worth of aquatic products to the EU, up 12% from the previous year. The five largest EU importers were the Netherlands, Germany, Belgium, Italy and France, together accounting for 72% of total exports.

During the two-day webinar Việt Nam – EU Business Matching Seafood 2022 co-organized by Việt Nam Trade Promotion Agency (Vietrade) and Việt Nam Trade Offices and Embassies in Member States of With the EU ending on Tuesday, Tài expected through the webinar, Vietnamese producers would have a better understanding of the EU market and the partnership between the two sides to further accelerate the development of the fishing industry in Việt Nam.

The event is part of this year’s national trade promotion program, which aims to help Vietnamese seafood producers find buyers in the EU.

Trade adviser in Sweden, Finland, Iceland and Latvia, Lê Hoàng Thúy, noted that a wider range of goods and instant food products had been made available in supermarkets in northern Europe. It would be a good opportunity for Vietnamese exporters to boost sales to standardized processing enterprises capable of supplying high value-added products to the market, she said.

Sustainable fishing is an emerging trend in the EU, Thúy noted, adding that it will likely be integrated into the management system in the future. This meant the EU would require the use of more socially and environmentally responsible practices on imported seafood products over the years, the official said.

She also stressed the importance of ensuring the management of quality control and rules of origin for Vietnamese products, as EU consumers pay more attention to health and food origin issues. imported. She urged domestic companies to label their products with accurate information and focus more on brand image and product development based on consumer trends. —VNS