Vietnamese pangasius exporters create fund to help fend off “PR crisis” in the EU

Published on
June 30, 2017

A market development fund has been created by 20 of Vietnam’s leading pangasius exporters to help mitigate a “PR crisis” the collective is facing with respect to the European Union, which has already had a negative impact on pangasius sales so far this year.

The exporters have faced difficulties selling pangasius to the E.U. following a television segment on Spain’s Cuatro channel that “gave wrong information about fish farmed in the Mekong Delta,” the Saigon Times reported. Vinh Hoan Corporation chairwoman Truong Thi Le Khanh suggested during a conference in Tien Giang Province last week that a more popular television channel “can tell the truth about fish farming in Vietnam,” to help assuage the crisis at hand. The E.U.’s standards for pangasius or tra fish imports from Vietnam have been adopted by many E.U. countries, a common ground, Khanh noted during the conference, as relayed by the newspaper. 

All companies present at the conference, which was hosted by the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP) pledged to contribute USD 200,000 (EUR 175,179) to the newly-created fund. So far, USD 87,000 (EUR 76,206) of that amount has been transferred from nine enterprises present at the conference, VASEP said. Khanh encouraged the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development to lend its support to fundraising efforts, too. 

Vu Van Tam, deputy minister of agriculture and rural development, said to the newspaper that the ministry had coordinated with VASEP to implement the fund-raising endeavor. Meanwhile, VASEP has been working with several other ministries to help craft and supply the fund, including the Ministry of Finance.

VASEP Deputy General Secretary To Thi Tuong Lan pointed to improving fish quality as a key method to dealing with the E.U. problem, adding that “media plays and major role” as well, according to the Saigon Times.  

For the first four months of 2017, Vietnamese pangasius exports have amounted to USD 518.6 million (EUR 453.7 million) per a recent VASEP report – a 2.2 percent jump up over the same period last year. The largest pangasius importers to Vietnam include the China (19.9 percent), the United States (17.4 percent) and ASEAN (8 percent).

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