HEALTHY FOOD RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT CENTRE (HFC)
The overall goal of the HFC is to assist in poverty alleviation through the creation of opportunities for generating and increasing incomes among producers in Vietnam’s rural areas. The HFC focuses on conducting research and developing healthy foods basing on locally-available materials and indigenous know-how. HFC provides a systematic task-directing and problem-solving approach to serve the community by undertaking innovative scientific and technological research on safety, nutritional analysis, quality assurance and product development of food produced in rural areas. The major groups covered by the HFC include: fruit and vegetable products, and cereal and pulse-derived products, Products from root crops, meat products, seafood products, beverages, confectionery, essential oils; culinary herbs and spices; and medical herbs HFC’s major activities include:
Research: HFC conducts research into different issues of food processing and preservation, storage, marketing, distribution and utilisation. Indigenous know-how of food processing in the community is an important subject of study in order to draft the most suitable scientific solutions for improvement.
Training: HFC offers training on food processing and preservation, storage, marketing, distribution and utilisation in order to improve rural technologies. HFC transfers applicable technologies to the producers, enhancing food safety and quality. HFC also provides training for food producers and raises public awareness on issues related to healthy food in order to promote higher consumer understanding on the subject.
Product Development: Through the verification and improvements to the indigenous production process, HFC will study and develop top-grade “green” food products meeting Vietnamese and international food standards. HFC’s food products will benefit from added product value through innovative packaging and the use of locally-sourced environmentally-friendly materials. The products will be developed by HFC during the 2011-2012 period, and will include fish sauce, salted fish, vermicelli rice noodles, rice paper, glutinous rice wine, artichokes, organic tea, cochinchin gourd-related products, and essential oils.
Market access: HFC promotes the connection between food producers and possible local and international buyers. For the local market, HFC will introduce products to a network of local retail outlets that include supermarkets, department stores, and food shops. HFC will develop access to international markets through its Fair Trade channel. HFC can also develop online sales systems to offer more business opportunities for food producers.