A forum on the export of Vietnamese catfish to the European Union (EU), one of the country’s largest seafood markets, was held in the Belgian capital of Brussels on April 22.
Illustrative image (Source: VNA)
The function, which brought together European importers of Vietnamese catfish, was organised by the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP) and the Netherlands’ Centre for the Promotion of Imports from Developing Countries. It was part of the 23rd Seafood Expo Global, taking place in Brussels from April 21-23.
European exporters said Vietnam needs to detail the ice-glazing ratio (ratio of ice glaze to gross weight) and humidity of catfish flesh on the package to improve its transparency and gain consumer trust.
Deputy Director General of the Vietnam Directorate of Fisheries Pham Anh Tuan said Vietnam continually works to promote its catfish product image and transparency. This July, authorised agencies will adjust Decree 36 on the water ratio in exported products relevant to import market requirements.
Regarding concerns on the quality of Vietnamese catfish, VASEP General Secretary Truong Dinh Hoe said the country’s tra and basa fish are raised in a relatively modern process, adding that many companies have centralised farming areas and carefully control fry selecting, fish raising, processing and exporting.
Many firms have received farming standard certificates, such as Global GAP and that of the Aquaculture Stewardship Council, showing international recognition of Vietnam’s fish raising process, he added.
Catfish are being raised over 5,550 hectares of water surface in 10 provinces and one city in the Mekong Delta, generating an export volume of over 1.11 million tonnes per year. Catfish product shipments brought home 1.76 billion USD in 2014.
The EU is now among the three largest seafood markets of Vietnam, next to the US and Japan. The country’s catfish exports to the EU generated 344.3 million USD last year.