Catfish processing. (Photo Credit: CL-FISH)
Vietnamese catfish producers not impacted by US farm bill this year
Thursday, February 13, 2014, 04:00 (GMT + 9)
The recently passed U.S. five-year farm bill, which impacts on Vietnamese tra and basa fish, would not have direct impact this year, said Truong Dinh Hoe, general secretary of the Viet Nam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (Vasep).
He explained that only in 2015 the documents with guidelines on the implementation of the new U.S. law will be completed, so that Vietnamese producers and exporters will have a year to get ready.
According to the new regulations, catfish inspection will be moved from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to the Department of Agriculture.
Therefore, Vietnamese catfish exported to the US market will need to fulfil all requirements set for local products, from production to packaging and exporting.
Now Vietnamese producers and government authorities are worried, as it would take several years to catch up with the US farmers in terms of breeding area planning.
According to Pham Anh Tuan, deputy head of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development's General Department of Fisheries, the bill approval was no surprise as Vietnamese companies have understood that importers often provide technical barriers to protect local agricultural products, Vietnam News informed.
Besides, Vasep's general secretary stressed that the key issue was to ask the U.S. to review supervision programmes on catfish to ensure fair dealings and that supervision follows common standards in production.
Meanwhile, several Vietnamese enterprises were granted Best Aquaculture Practices (BAP) standards addressing environmental and social responsibility, animal welfare, food safety and tractability in a voluntary certification programme for aquaculture facilities.
Vietnam's tra industry also complies with European standards including the Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC), GlobalGAP and the British Retail Consortium (BRC).
Photo Courtesy of FIS Member CL-Fish Corp., Ltd. - Cuu Long Fish JSC