14:13 | 04/04/2018 Trade
(VEN) - Electronic origin stamping enables consumers to trace with ease the origin of farm produce, contributing to the control of imitation goods, product competitiveness and branding.
As one of the most sought after farm products in Vietnam, Vinh orange from Nghe An Province have frequently been imitated. Attempting to minimize the imitation, starting in November 2017, the Nghe An Province Department of Science and Technology applies electronic certificate of origin stamping to Vinh orange grown in Nghia Son and Nghia Lam communes of the province’s Nghia Dan District. Buyers or consumers can trace the product origin with a smart phone or other electronic devices. Vinh orange is one of the first products to have electronic origin stamping certification.
Do Hoang Thach, Deputy Director of the Hanoi Trade Promotion Center for Agriculture, said electronic origin stamping is a software program designed to control product origin associated with complete production lines including production, packaging and sales.
According to experts and enterprises, electronic origin stamping is expected to increase the value and competitiveness of domestic farm produce, forest products and seafood in both domestic and foreign markets, given increasingly sophisticated food quality requirements of importers and consumers. It is thus also expected to improve the competitiveness of domestic businesses and increase their exports.
According to the new rural area development board of Quang Ninh Province, the province has piloted the VNPT (Vietnam Posts and Telecommunications Group) check - a smart electronic stamp - on 233 products included in the One Commune One Product Program (OCOP). The electronic stamp features product origin, specifications, type, price, and producer information, a board representative said. Besides, the VNPT check helps goods distribution by geographic location, the representative added.
With the VNPT check downloaded to their smartphones, consumers can easily verify product origin, quality, and other information, including product expiry date, before buying a product. In addition to limiting fraud, electronic origin stamping also contributes to standardizing commodities, improving the competitiveness of products and manufacturers and promoting branding. VNPT check adds value to OCOP products in Quang Ninh Province, including such famous provincial products as Ha Long squid pies, Tien Yen chicken meat, and Ba Kich wine, among other products.
Origin stamping expansion
While it shows great benefits, electronic origin stamping is facing difficulties in many cooperatives and household businesses. Many cooperatives complain of having to change the printing paper frequently as supermarket stamps vary in size, design and content. A number of household businesses have a low level of information technology, and don’t want to invest in product barcoding and be controlled in terms of product quality.
However, having acknowledged the great benefits of electronic origin stamping, food producers in many localities piloting the electronic origin stamping program have invested in the technology to increase competitiveness. Thach said consumers are willing to buy stamped products, resulting in increased sales, and therefore Hanoi will accelerate the implementation of electronic origin stamping.
All OCOP products in Quang Ninh Province will be subject to electronic origin stamping. In 2018, Quang Ninh will be assisting businesses to apply VNPT check to 50 OCOP products. The provincial leadership has asked that all products participating in the annual OCOP fair be electronically stamped for origin traceability, as well.