Hanoi project targets safe fruit sales

16:35 | 27/09/2017 Trade

(VEN) - Hanoi People’s Committee Chairman Nguyen Duc Chung recently approved a plan to pilot the management of fruit stores in the city’s urban districts. 

hanoi project targets safe fruit sales
Market surveillance officials examine food safety in Hanoi

Supply shortage

The focus of the campaign is on individual business households, small-sized stores, vendors, wholesale markets and traditional markets, where the majority of fruits on the shelves are of unspecified origins, and which do not have adequate facilities for storage or preservation.

A committee report shows that seven wholesale markets operate in Hanoi, three of which sell fruit, vegetables and other agricultural products.

One of these three markets, located in the Den Lu Urban Area, south of Hanoi, is comprised of 468 household businesses, 42 of which sell fruit transported from the northern provinces of Hung Yen, Ha Nam, and southern provinces. About 155 tonnes of fruit are sold at the market and transported to other markets per day.

The Minh Khai wholesale market located in Bac Tu Liem District consists of 400 household businesses, 10 of which sell fruit. About 55 tonnes of fruit transported from Hanoi’s suburban districts of Hoai Duc, Phuc To, Dan Phuong, Thach That, Ba Vi, Me Linh, Dong Anh, Soc Son, and Vinh Phuc Province are circulated through this market daily. The Long Bien market in Ba Dinh District consists of 627 household businesses, 296 of which sell fruit. About 150-200 tonnes of fruit, mostly imported from other countries, or transported from northern and southern provinces, pass through this market every day.

Existing regulations do not require fresh fruit sellers to label products or prove their compliance with food safety standards. This makes it difficult to manage fruit stores, especially to trace the origin of products. In addition, demand outstrips supply. City residents and visitors consume about 52,000 tonnes per month, whereas its farmers produce just 30 percent of this demand. Therefore, each month, Hanoi has to import about 7,800 tonnes of fruit from other countries and purchase 34,840 tonnes from other cities and provinces.

Pilot management

The pilot program for the management of fruit stores in urban districts aims to ensure that all fruit sellers are provided with training on food safety. Other targets include providing 60 percent of fruit stores in urban districts with business registration certificates in 2017, bringing the total to 100 percent in 2018. The program also envisages that all fruit stores will enable buyers to trace the origin of products and prove their compliance with quality and food safety standards.

The pilot management plan will be implemented until the end of 2018. The municipal people’s committee has assigned the Hanoi Industry and Trade Department to supervise its implementation and coordinate with concerned authorities to report any problems arising in the implementation process.

In the first half of this year, the Hanoi Market Surveillance Department inspected and dealt with 1,418 food safety violation cases, collecting VND5.65 billion of administrative fines. Some 38 fruit and vegetable samples from markets were collected for testing.

Nguyen Hanh