By Neil Ray, SeafoodSource contributing editor, reporting from Bangkok
Published on 07 May, 2009
Genuine Phu Quoc fish sauce producers in Vietnam are taking steps to protect the quality and integrity of their product, as copycats flood European markets.
The Association of Phu Quoc Fish Sauce Producers said this week it is registering the Phu Quoc trademark with European authorities.
The authentic sauce uses anchovies caught off Phu Quoc Island in the Gulf of Thailand. The anchovies are fermented for long periods, resulting in a rich, nutty flavor, as opposed to low-quality brands that are fermented for short periods and emit a strong fishy taste.
The association is concerned that impostor Phu Quoc fish sauces are hurting sales of the real thing. Association chairwoman Nguyen Thi Tinh said the aim is to push low-quality Phu Quoc fish sauces out of European and international markets.
The Vietnam Industrial Property Department trademarked Phu Quoc in 2001, stipulating that only fish sauce made by companies based on Phu Quoc Island could use the name.
Production of Phu Quoc fish sauce totals 10 to 12 million liters annually. The bulk of Vietnam's Phu Quoc exports go to Europe, the United States and Asia.