Phu Quoc Fish Sauce wins EU approval

Tuesday, Aug 20, 2013 07:16

The Phu Quoc Fish Sauce Association yesterday received the EU Certificate of Protected Designation of Origin of Phu Quoc (PDO "Phu Quoc").—VNA/VNS Photo
HCM CITY (Biz Hub)— The Phu Quoc Fish Sauce Association yesterday received the EU Certificate of Protected Designation of Origin of Phu Quoc (PDO "Phu Quoc").

The certificate was handed over by Vice Minister of Trade and Industry cum Chairwoman of the Steering Committee of the European Trade Policy and Investment Support Project (EU-MUTRAP) Ho Thi Kim Thoa.

Earlier in mid July at the European Commission premise in Brussels, Deputy Director-General of the EC's Directorate for Agriculture Madame Loretta Dormal Marino officially delivered the certificate to Vice Minister Thoa who was representing the Ministry of Trade and Industry.

The Phu Quoc Extract of Fish is the first product from an ASEAN country to obtain the PDO protection in the territory of the 28 EU members, and it is the first Vietnamese Geographical Indication to be recognised and protected in the EU.

This important achievement has been obtained with the technical support of the EU through the MUTRAP projects (phase II and III).

Being protected in the EU market under the PDO Phu Quoc, the only fish sauce produced and bottled in the Phu Quoc islands can be distributed under that name.

This recognition will ensure consumers enjoy specific qualities and authenticity, as well as to prevent the illegal presence of pirated products and counterfeiting.

Dr. Franz Jessen, Ambassador, Head of the Delegation of the EU to Viet Nam, stated: "The recognition of the Nuoc mam Phu Quoc as a product of protected designation of origin in the EU is a great achievement. It is a concrete result of the effective co-operation with the EU."

He further said, "the protection ensured in the EU will result in a price premium that will directly benefit the Vietnamese producers. It is a clear example of the potential of the recognition of Vietnamese GI (Geographic Indication) products. The EU-Viet Nam FTA represents a great opportunity to expand the protection of Vietnamese GIs."

The ceremony was followed by a workshop on "Regulations-Measures of Quality Control and promotion of Phu Quoc fish sauce" organised by the Kien Giang Provincial Department of Science and Technology in co-operation with the EU-MUTRAP.

Production of Phu Quoc fish sauce reached its peak in 2012 (around 25 million litres), however, a decline is expected in 2013 due to a severe shortage of anchovies that has recently affected Phu Quoc producers.

Ensuring the quality of inputs and production of Phu Quoc fish sauce in compliance with the EU PDO registration is therefore one of the main concerns for the Quality Control Committee of Phu Quoc fish sauce, as well as for all enterprises which expect to be granted the use of the EU Phu Quoc PDO.

Fighting pirated products and counterfeits is also essential in the Vietnamese domestic market, so it is therefore crucial to organise trade promotions and marketing activities to raise awareness among enterprises and consumers about the authenticity that only fish sauce labelled with the PDO "Phu Quoc" can assure. — VNS

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