Necessity to brand agricultural products

15:33 | 06/06/2017 Economy- Society

(VEN) - Promoting branding associated with the value chain is an increasingly developing trend. But while localities in Vietnam have established growing areas and focused on producing advantageous products, many local and national enterprises have failed to promote branding, a key to improving the competitiveness and value of their agricultural products.  

necessity to brand agricultural products
Promoting branding associated with the value chain is an increasingly developing trend

In 2004, the Vietnam Tea Association was tasked by the government with establishing branding for Vietnamese tea. The CheViet brand name has been registered and protected in 73 markets worldwide. However, the program has almost been abandoned. Vietnam’s tea products are currently exported in raw form and thus has to bear the names of major foreign tea companies.

The government has also built branding for Vietnamese rice since 2015. The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development is urgently working to issue a national rice standard and has launched a Vietnamese rice logo contest in the first quarter of 2017.

The Vietnam Value program has been implemented by the Ministry of Industry and Trade since 2012 and selected 63 branded enterprises. However, among these, only seven businesses deal in agricultural products and handicrafts.

While national brands seem to be ignored, many localities have paid attention to promoting branding, protection of geographical indications and labels for specialty products, especially fruits such as Hai Duong Province’s Thanh Ha litchi, Bac Giang Province’s Luc Ngan litchi, Ben Tre Province’s green-skin grapefruit and Hoa Loc mango. Geographical indications have been developed for Hai Hau, Dien Bien and Hong Dan rice. Many local brands in the form of protection of collective trademarks have also been developed.

According to Quang Tri Province’s Agriculture Promotion Center, the project on developing geographical indication for local pepper was approved by the National Office of Intellectual Property of Vietnam in 2010. This product has been exported to many European countries. In 2014, this product was granted the Century International Quality ERA Award by Spanish Business Initiative Directions.

According to experts, given that Vietnam has signed many free trade agreements, agricultural exports are offered more and more opportunities. However, the pressure of fierce competition makes the promotion of branding and improving competitiveness of Vietnamese agricultural products strategic issues.

necessity to brand agricultural products

The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development’s Department of Processing and Trade of Agricultural Products, Deputy Director Vo Thi Ly, noted that Vietnam is an agricultural country and export turnover of agricultural, forestry and fishery products in 2016 reached over US$32 billion. However, 90 percent of Vietnam’s agricultural exports are crude products, resulting in lower values. In addition, over 80 percent of the nation’s agricultural products do not have brands, logos, labels.

One of the main reasons for this shortcoming is the lack of a comprehensive program on building and promoting branding. In addition, organizing production under planning has not met the target and human resources have not been properly trained. Ly said that the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development has a plan to promote branding for major agricultural products by 2020, while developing production and markets for selected products, so that localities and enterprises throughout the country have orientations to follow.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, in cooperation with the Ministry of Industry and Trade, has implemented a strategy on Vietnam food industry branding, which was delivered by the government on October 20, 2016. The strategy identifies nine key agricultural products, including rice, fruits and vegetables, seafood, coffee, tea, pepper, cashew nuts, coconut and honey. In the short term, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development aims to build a program on developing brands for key agricultural products by 2020, with immediate priority given to mangoes, dragon fruits, tea, coffee and Tra fish.

According to experts, in addition to the support from the state, ministries and departments, promoting branding for Vietnamese agricultural products requires the efforts of each enterprise and industry association in order to create a breakthrough.

More than 80 percent of the nation’s agricultural products do not have registered brands, logos or labels, posing a major

disadvantage for domestic producers.

Thanh Ha