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Green and Eco-friendly agriculture: Opportunities for fruit and vegetables processing industry to archive visibility and distinguish itself in the international marketplace

Vietnam’s processed fruit and vegetables with eco-fair certification are expanding export to the EU under EVFTA, with the expectation of exploiting opportunities in the market thanks to incentives given by the agreement.

Advantages of eco-fair certified processed fruit and vegetables

The EVFTA Agreement opens up many opportunities for Vietnam’s export market, including processed fruitand vegetables. However, the industry have yet taken advantages the agreement due tounsustainable factors, and it is necessary to find suitablesolutions soon.

Therefore, the development of eco-fair certified processed agriculture productsis an inevitable trend and is increasingly popular in many countries, including Vietnam, because of its benefits.

Economically, processed products with eco-fair certification in general and processed fruit, in particular, will help small and medium enterprises have the opportunity to shift manufacturingmodelsandstimulate standardizationofVietnamese fruitand vegetables production process.

In fact, processed fruit in our country has only been invested in capital widening to increase output, not to focus on in-depth investment to create goods with high added value. Businesses mainly buy directly from farmers. An ecological and fair workout will help ensure input quality and output quality. From there, meet the requirements of the export market.

In terms of environment protection, many agricultural, forestry, and fishery exports of Vietnam are based on natural resources (land, water, sea, forests …), and the development of agriculture is at risk engine destroys this resource. Moreover, due to the outdated production level, the environment is seriously polluted during the production process.

Environmentallyandfriendly production processessuch as food safety process in manufacturing are being researchedand put into practice in production facilities. They are expected toreduce the negative impact of agricultural farming on naturalresourceswhile maintainsustainable development.

In terms of society, the development of processed fruitand vegetables industry in term of production and exportis attractinglabour force. However, thishave a significant negative effect, causing thecurrent social unsustainabilitysituationof our country. Export enterprises are increasing production capability while neglecting the need for workforce improvement.Labor quality islow, and workers’ income is unstable. The changes in world marketmake farmers more vulnerable, wideningthe gap between rich and poor,increasingincome inequality among differentregions and classes.This leads to the erosion of labour’s share of value added, which is the result from importation and trade automation.

Applying thedirection of processed fruitand vegetables toward ecology and fairness, whichmeans equal sharing of trade benefits,with the foremost benefit isthe benefit-sharing mechanism in resource exploitation. Moreover, the farmers willhaveaccess to new techniquesand opportunities to enhance farmingskills. Finally, the value of productswillincreases, contributing to stabilizing income sourcesof farmers,whilesolving job unemployment issue, and changing jobs for workers.

Within the reach but not easy

The benefits of developingprocessedfruitand vegetablesproductsin eco-fair directionare clear, but there are still many challenges and difficultiesahead. In order todevelop sustainablyin the industry, there aretwo factorsthat need to be considered: good raw materials and good processing technology. If these two factors are not developed in parallel, wasted is the expected result.

To creategreenand eco-friendlyproducts, the input materials need tocomply with certificationstandards, with traceability. Theref0re, it is essential to find stable and good sources of raw materials and find the output of products. The result can be met by following these actions:

+ Enhancingthe capacity of small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) to implementingsustainable manufacturingpracticeand innovating productionsin raw material input of thesupply chain. Accordingly, it is necessaryfor enterprisesto reorganize, build and form thevalue chainfrom varietiesselection, cultivation, collection, processing, packaging, and preservation to export transportation.

+ Raisingawareness to a majorityof consumers about sustainable consumer behaviors and buildinga network to promote eco-fairlabeling. Why aregreen and eco-friendlyproductsshould be used by customers?

+ Usinga sustainable e-platform to build a network of eco-fair retailers. The network is used as a source for members of theprocessed fruit and vegetablesindustry to find production output.

+ Enhancing capabilityfor eco-fairMSMEs togainaccessto sources offinance. Supporting the development of policies on eco-fair production and consumption in Vietnam.

Currently, the project of Promotion of supply and demand of Eco Fair agri food processing products in Vietnam has beenimplemented. It will be an opportunity for processed fruit and vegetables manufacturersto seize abreakthroughopportunity and being put in a great position in the market. It is not untilVietnamese manufacturers can produce high quality eco-friendly products that Vietnamese processed fruit and vegetables is welcomed in the global market.