While there is information about Vietnam Tra fish meeting with difficulties in the main markets (the U.S., Russia, the EU), there is another raising hopes, that is VASEP is promoting the establishment of a Tra fish distribution center in the EU.
Firstly, the U.S. Farm Bill 2014 has been signed to be put into practice by President Barack Obama after the House and Senate passed. In particular, there is a term which causes difficulties for Vietnam Tra fish, that is it must comply with the regulations of producing, packaging as catfish in the U.S. These rules are known to be very strict, with high standards from breed, feed, farming and processing techniques to specified labeling of the farming ogirin, place of processing and the processing performance. About two months later, the U.S. Department of Agriculture will provide specific standards but many experts predict there will be big challenges for Vietnam Tra fish which is developing spontaneously.
In Russia, the countrty’s veterinary authority has decided to impose a temporary suspension of import of Tra fish products and some other kinds of fish from eight Vietnamese businesses, which took effect from January 31st, 2014. The Russian Agriculture Monitoring Agency said that the decision are based on the test results of the Veterinary and Phytosanitary Surveillance Service after investigating eight processing factories, two farms and two labs of eight Vietnam businesses. The results reveal that businesses have been discovered to violate many quality requirements and lack the internal control systems. Therefore, almost all Vietnam businesses have been banned to export Tra fish to Russia, including those banned in 2013.
Recently, a Dutch company warned that several Vietnam businesses use banned additives in processing Tra fish, and will be refused in the EU.
Distribution center in Belgium
Facing dificulties from many markets, along with negotiating or persistently opposing as before, VASEP has taken proactive steps: Establishing a Tra fish distribution center for the whole EU at Zeebrugge port in the north of Belgium. The memorandum of understanding between VASEP and Zeebrugge port was signed on October 11, 2013, by VASEP General Secretary Truong Dinh Hoe and Zeebrugge port CEO Joachim Coens. Deputy Director of the Ministry of Industry and Trade’s southern office Vo Ta Luong and Minister of Mobility and Public Works of western Belgium Hilde Crevits witnessed the signing.
VASEP is promoting the establishment of a Tra fish distribution center in the EU – Photo: Le Cong Han
Port of Zeebrugge is able to distribute deep-water port (intercontinental) and shallow one (inter European) services through the network of intermodal transportation to access market, distribution means. At the port of Zeebrugge, it was formed a logistics axis to meet customers’ demand throughout Europe which is attracting many companies.
Currently, the two parties are planning their cooperation, clarifying the principles of coordination and responsibilities of both parties in establishing a Tra fish distribution basis at Zeebrugge for the EU market. VASEP is actively cooperating with relavant ministries of Vietnam and providing the necessary information for the port and seafood logistics companies chosen by VASEP at Zeebrugge to open the Tra fish distribution center, while Zeebrugge port is collaborating with Belgian govermental agency – Flanders Investment & Trade – to clarify the legal and financial regulations for the Tra fish distribution channel.
VASEP desires to open a distribution channel at the port of Zeebrugge to raise Tra fish export to the EU. This channel will act as a center to promote sales, marketing and advertising of Tra fish trademark to the entire EU market, a Tra fish distribution center for the whole EU at the port of Zeebrugge. It should be noted that Belgium is located in the heart of Europe, and at the Zeebrugge port there is a fish auction named Flemish Fish Auction, a contributive factor to the initiative of VASEP and the port of Zeebrugge.
The first container batch of Tra fish must arrive at Zeebrugge port after Vietnamese companies and logistics businesses reach an agreement on the export and distribution. One year after the signing of the memorandum of understanding, both parties will evaluate the effectiveness of the work in order to determine the enhancement of cooperation in the future.
Hopefully, the establishment of this distribution center will associate the Vietnam Tra fish industry with the EU market, promote the restructuring of the Tra fish industry, while improving the quality and prestige of Vietnam’s Tra fish in the EU.
>> Facing dificulties from many markets, along with negotiating or persistently opposing as before, VASEP has taken proactive steps: Establishing a Tra fish distribution center for the whole EU at Zeebrugge port in the north of Belgium.