HCM City Tracing Pig, Poultry Origins

VIET NAM - After gaining encouraging results from a pilot programme that allows consumers to check the origin of pork, the HCM City Department of Industry and Trade last weekend announced a new plan to use information technology to control and trace the origin of poultry meat and eggs also.
calendar icon 3 July 2017
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Viet Nam News reports that nearly 30 farms supplying chicks, 339 farms supplying chicken meat, 53 chicken egg farms, 13 poultry slaughtering and poultry meat packaging establishments and six poultry eggs packaging establishments have registered to join the new programme.

In addition, the programme has received the participation of more than 1,740 poultry meat and egg distributors or retailers in the city, said Nguyen Ngoc Hoa, the department’s deputy director.

Under the programme, consumers can trace the origin of poultry meat from the hatching to final stages, he said, adding that they can also trace eggs from the breeding to final stages.

Speaking at a meeting in HCM City on 1 July to review the six-month implementation of the programme tracing the origin of pork products and to announce a new plan to trace the origin of poultry meat and eggs, Tran Vinh Tuyen, deputy chairman of the city’s People’s Committee, said the programme has not been really fruitful as it was expected, but it offers encouraging results.

The programme has contributed to ensure hygiene and food safety for consumers, raise awareness among farmers, slaughterers and food processors to produce products following the market’s demand, he said.

After a trial period of the programme, the city will officially control pork sources supplied to the city markets, he said.

Starting from 31 July, pork without clear origins will not be allowed to be sold at the Tan Xuan and Binh Dien wholesale markets in HCM City, he said.

Pork sold in the modern trade channel is well-controlled, so together with tightly controlling pork sources in traditional retail channels through the two wholesale markets, all pork available at the city market will have its origin traceable.

At the meeting, delegates, though supporting the programme, complained of difficulties during the implementation.

Pham Van Bong, deputy director of Binh Duong Province’s Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, said pig prices were low, while costs for using neccessary equipments such as rings with electronic stamps that can record information to help identify are currently very high, with each costing around VND3,000. This makes farmers hesitate to join in the programme.

In addition, recording information requires having internet access or 3G coverage, but in remote areas where many pig breeders live, wireless network is not always available, causing difficulties to upload details about pigs, he said.

Mr Hoa from the HCM City Department of Industry and Trade said the city provides small-scale breeders with a 50 per cent subsidy on the costs of the electronic rings for six months from March 14 to September 14. Meanwhile, farmers participating in co-operative groups or the VietGap certified pig breeding association will get a 100 per cent subsidy until September 14, he said.

The department reported that 1,280 pig breeding establishments in HCM City and 15 provinces in the south, 25 abattoirs in HCM City, Dong Nai, Binh Duong, Long An and Tay Ninh and 146 traders at the two wholesale markets have registered to participate in the programme of tracing origins of pork products.

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