09:50 | 16/03/2018 Economy- Society
(VEN) - Vietnam’s agricultural market potential is expanding due to its participation in a growing number of free trade agreements, but with fiercer competition pressure, promoting branding is a strategic necessity.
Being a mountainous province with many advantages in terms of land and climate, Son La has many opportunities and favorable conditions to develop high-quality agricultural products, and is suitable for the establishment of high-tech agriculture centers.
Son La Province reached over US$9 million in total export turnover in 2017, with agricultural and forestry products accounting for 99.2 percent of the total. In particular, many types of fruits and vegetables, such as longan, mango, lime and dragon fruit, have been exported to China, Australia and the US.
Pham Quang An, director of the Son La Department of Science and Technology, said the department has advised the provincial people’s committee to promote branding for 14 local specialties. At present, nine products have been granted certificates of protection, including three geographical indications (Shan Tuyet tea, Yen Chau mango, and Son La coffee), four trademarks (Moc Chau Oolong tea, Moc Chau vegetable, Song Ma longan, and Phu Yen orange), and two collective marks (Son La honey, and Ta Xua tea). All the products have increased their value and market. In particular, Shan Tuyet tea and Yen Chau mango have made the list of Vietnam Value products and are able to be exported to the European market.
Thanks to support from the National Office of Intellectual Property under the Ministry of Science and Technology, Shan Tuyet Moc Chau tea was successfully registered in Thailand and granted a certificate of protection there.
Lack of methodical approach
Son La Province’s agricultural production remains small and fragmentary, while businesses lack sufficient capacity to promote branding. This will seriously affect the prestige of the product, resulting in an unsustainable brand.
For example, Yen Chau mango was granted a certificate of protection in 2012. Since the announcement of geographical indication for Yen Chau mango, the value of the product has increased. However, developing the value of the brand and finding a stable output for this product are extremely difficult. This is due to the lack of investment in the application of scientific and technological advances in the conservation of traditional mango. Recently, some households have cut mango trees or transplanted other types of mango, leading to the risk of devaluing the geographical indication. The same applies to Shan Tuyet Moc Chau tea.
Pham Quang An said branding needs to be conducted step by step. To enhance the value of agricultural products, it is necessary to see the participation of big businesses, which have strong financial, scientific and technical capabilities, to link production and consumption.
According to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Vietnam has become one of the leading exporters of agricultural products, with eight commodities each earning more than US$1 billion, including coffee, rubber, rice, seafood, cashew nuts, pepper, fruit and vegetables, timber and wood products. To make most of the opportunities provided by free trade agreements, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development has prioritized the promotion of agricultural branding.
Pham Quang An, director of the Son La Department of Science and Technology, said businesses and cooperatives should pay special attention to compliance with the production process according to VietGAP and GlobalGAP standards. In addition, it is necessary to improve the quality of key agricultural products, and coordinate with related agencies to develop the domestic market and expand export markets.