More agricultural products in the southern province of Ba Ria-Vung Tau now have traceability stamps which improve information transparency and product value.

The Bau May Tourism Agriculture Trade Cooperative in Xuyen Moc District’s Hoa Hiep Commune began growing 15ha of pepper under global good agricultural practices (GlobalGAP) standards in 2015 and received GobalGAP certification for the pepper area three years later.

With GobalGAP-quality pepper, Bau May has developed traceability stamps for its pepper and pepper products to boost sales at home and abroad.

Last year, the cooperative exported more than 100 tonnes of pepper and pepper products at a price between 250,000 – 15 million VND (10.7 – 640 USD) a kilogramme to many markets such as the EU, Japan, the Republic of Korea and China.

Lam Ngoc Nham, director of Bau May, said the cultivation of pepper under GlobalGAP standards and traceability stamps have improved the competitiveness of the cooperative’s pepper products in domestic and foreign markets. The pepper products with the stamps have easier access to supermarkets and export markets, he said.

Bau May now grows more than 30ha of pepper and produces about 200 tonnes of pepper and pepper products a year. The Song Xoai Green Skin and Pink Flesh Grapefruit Cooperative in Phu My Town’s Song Xoai Commune has used traceability stamps for its green skin and pink flesh grapefruits since 2018.

The co-operative produces about 2,900 tonnes of green skin and pink flesh grapefruits a year, including 30 percent of them with traceability stamps and planted under organic standards. The cooperative’s grapefruits with traceability stamps sell for 50 percent higher than the market price.

Ho Van Kiet, director of Song Xoai, said the cooperative’s grapefruits with traceability stamps are planted under safe standards and have high quality. Farmers, cooperatives and companies in the province use traceability stamps for other agricultural products like banana, dragon fruit and vegetables planted under VietGAP and GlobalGAP standards.

However, the number of agricultural products with traceability stamps is still small, according to local authorities.

Last year, the provinceial People’s Committee launched a project to manage an origin tracing system that aims to create close linkages among production processes, manage product quality, and foster the consumer habit of using products with traceability stamps.

The project also aims to raise the awareness of producers about information transparency.

Trinh Duc Toan, deputy head of the province’s Agro – Forestry – Fishery Management Sub-department, said to implement the project effectively, the sub-department in cooperation with relevant agencies has advocated origin tracing activities and provided training courses on technologies used for tracing origin to related stakeholders this year.

The sub-department will implement origin tracing on selected agricultural products on a pilot basis this year, he said. The province has created zones for four specialty agricultural products. They are 1,200ha of longan, 1,000ha of soursop, 500ha of green skin and pink flesh grapefruit and 300ha of dragon fruit.

The four specialty agricultural products will be given support to build brand names and origin traceability to improve their value in the domestic market and for export. At least 20 percent of companies in production, trading and services will have an origin traceability system by 2025, under the province’s plan.

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