Vietnamese rice branding with difficulties

11:39 | 19/10/2015 Trade

(VEN) - Despite being ranked third among global rice exporters after India and Thailand, Vietnam has failed to build a national brand name for Vietnamese rice, which has made exports more difficult.

Vietnamese rice branding with difficulties

Vietnamese rice faces fierce competition in terms of price, quality and consumer trust - Photo: Can Dung

According to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD), Vietnamese rice is exported without a national brand name, yielding in low export value. For example, Thai rice is sold for US$1,000 per tonne while Vietnamese rice is sold for just US$400 per tonne.

Vietnamese rice is facing fierce competition from counterparts in Thailand, India, Cambodia, Myanmar and the US. The competitive pressures is not just a matter of price and quality, but also trust, which has triggered an urgent need to develop a national brand name for Vietnamese rice, said Vo Thanh Do, Deputy Head of the MARD’s Agricultural, Forestry and Fishery Product Department and Salt Production at the National Branding Strategies for Vietnam Rice Workshop.

However, experts are wondering how to manage and use the national rice trademark, what incentives and policies the government should have to encourage rice enterprises to participate in national rice branding, what rice should be chosen, what branding organization model to be selected and what resources to be mobilized.

According to the Vietnam Southern Food Corporation, domestic rice branding is facing difficulties in terms of rice variety and packaging identification. Vietnam lacks a rice quality testing agency for pre-export checks.

Rice quality management is key to rice branding. It is necessary to ensure the rice quality in the rice supply chain that meets consumer demand in different market segments, said Director of the Basmati Export Development Foundation A.K. Gupta.

According to the Loc Troi Group, the government should financially support Vietnamese rice international promotion instead of providing the current subsidy for rice stockpiling. Vietnamese rice branding should be implemented at home and then abroad with incentives from the government.

Building a national brand name for Vietnamese rice is a difficult task but ensuring the related value chain for the long-term existence of that brand name is more difficult and requires regular investment in quality improvements.

Nguyen Hanh