Eco-innovation forum offers a guide to EU market

16:01 | 25/11/2013 Science - Technology

(VEN) - At the 15th Forum on Eco-innovation and a roundtable on Cutting Waste - Resource Efficiency and Eco-innovation for Sustainable Food Chains recently held by the European Commission (EC) and the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), EC representatives suggested some eco-innovation solutions for Vietnamese businesses which want to access the EU market.

EC’s representatives said that one third of food resources in the world were currently wasted. Therefore, eco-innovation is becoming more important in the context of growing global population. To deal with issues related to food and the sustainability of food supply chains, the forum offered an overview on the pressure of population growth on limited natural food resources.

Vietnam currently has a tight commercial relationship with the EU, therefore the two sides must continue to boost cooperation and exchanges in areas related to eco-innovation, especially in making the private sector aware of the importance of getting involved in sustainable food supply chains at all stages including production, packaging and sale.

Timo Makela, Director of International Affairs at the EU’s Directorate General for the Environment, said that Vietnam must increase its participation in eco-innovation forums so that the Vietnamese business community could be well aware of the importance of eco-innovation from a global point of view. Boosting cooperation between Vietnam and the world as well as between Vietnam and the EU will help Vietnam deal with eco-innovation issues.

According to Timo Makela, Vietnam currently is an export-oriented economy and therefore, along with efforts to maintain market stability, Vietnamese businesses must improve resource and input material efficiency. The EU market has a very high demand for products which are made based on the effective use of natural resources. The forum not only dealt with innovation problems but also created a motive force for Vietnamese companies to effectively improve their resources to strengthen their positions in the domestic market and increase exports to foreign markets.

“I believe companies which use recyclable materials, i.e. those promoting eco-innovation, will surely find their markets in the future. Eco-innovation products are far different from current products because they are designed to be recyclable but not entirely disposable. In the food sector for example, good packaging materials can keep products well preserved and after consumers use a product, its packaging materials can be recycled for reuse,” said Timo Makela.

Timo Makela added that products which are sold in the European market have to meet many eco-innovation related standards. Therefore, Vietnamese businesses must carefully consider these standards when seeking access to the EU market in the time to come. Currently, the EU is in the process of negotiating with Vietnam a number of eco-innovation related issues such as preventing the use of illegally logged timber as well as some animal species and plant varieties which face the risk of becoming extinct.

Timo Makela affirmed, “Through this forum, we would like to create opportunities for Vietnamese organizations and businesses to set up links with European partners so that they can access and learn the best eco-innovation experiences from Europe in fields such as food processing, packaging and retail sales.”/.

By Nguyen Tien Dung