Pangasius producers look to cut costs, not corners

After years of seemingly unstoppable growth, the value of Pangasius exports from Vietnam has reached a plateau, according to Dr. Nguyen Huu Dzung, VP of the VASEP.

The turning point was 2008, he said, when total export sales hit USD 1.45 billion. (They reacahed USD 1.34 billion in 2009 and USD 1.43 billion last year.)

However, during the same period, the value of exports to the EU, Vietnam’s major market for pangasius products, fell from USD 581 million in 2008 to USD 539 million in 2009 and USD 511 million in 2010. In 2008 and 2009, the volume of pangasius exported to the EU remained steady at 224,000 metric tons, but there was a slight drop in 2010 due to less fish being farmed. Read more of this post

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Fisheries processors struggling with hardships

The Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Processors (VASEP) on June 14 organised a conference to report export situation as well as the serious shortage of materials.

Truong Dinh Hoe, general Secretary of VASEP, reported that the shrimp export so gar has accounted for 35.5 percent of the country’s total seafood export turnover. Mekong Delta now has 213,500 hectares of shrimp raising area, expected to reach the output of 213,000 tonnes – the great supply for export. But, due to epidemic, 52,270 ha of shrimp raising area here was damaged seriously for which the processors are facing shortage of materials for export. Read more of this post

Viet Nam – WWF meeting on sustainable development of Pangasius

This is a part of the cooperation agreement signed among the 4 sides in December 2010 for improvement of environmental/social responsability of the Pangasius industry in Vietnam. 

The Viet Nam Directorate of Fisheries (D-FISH), VINAFIS, VASEP, and WWF Viet Nam met with WWF International from April 12 – 14 in Switzerland to discuss the Aquaculture Improvement Project (AIP) for Viet Nam Pangasius industry for the period 2011 – 2015. Read more of this post

Agro-forestry, fisheries exports top 10 billion USD

The nation’s agro-forestry and fisheries axport revenues were estimated to exeed 10 billion USD in the first five months of the year, a yoy rise of 41.5%, the MARD said.

The five-month agricultural products export turnover recorded a year-on-year surge of 59 percent, followed by seafood products, 27.3 percent and forest products, 19.1 percent.

In the review period, the country exported more than 3 million tonnes of rice for almost 1.5 billion USD, year-on-year rises of 20.6 percent in volume and 23.6 percent in value. Indonesia, Cuba and Malaysia remained Vietnam’s major rice importers. Read more of this post

Struan Stevenson: “EATING HUMBLE (FISH) PIE”

Immediately after his trip to Vietnam, Mr. Stevenson wrote this op-ed article showing how the visit profoundly altered his wiews on Vietnamese Pangasius in a very positive manner.

Humble pie is a dish best served cold and eaten slowly! In my case, the pie was filled with fish. To be precise, it was filled with Pangasius. It is always difficult for a politician to admit to being wrong, but here goes. I was an arch critic of Pangasius, more than 230,000 tonnes of which were imported into the EU from Vietnam in 2010. Pangasius is a white-fleshed, freshwater-farmed catfish, commonly sold in our supermarkets as Panga Fish or Vietnamese River Cobbler. Most of it comes from the Mekong Delta in Southern Vietnam, an area teeming with fish farms, over 1600 of which raise Pangasius. Shrimp farms also abound in this hot and humid area of South-East Asia.

I made several speeches and wrote some strongly worded articles attacking this trade, repeating commonly heard prejudices that the Vietnamese fish farms were un-regulated and polluted and their fish processing factories were dirty and unhygienic. I could not have been more wrong. My first sharp rebuttal came from an unexpected source – The Institute of Aquaculture at StirlingUniversity in my own constituency. The large team at Stirling have been working with the Vietnamese fish farmers for years, training them on all aspects of hygiene, welfare, feeding and fish health. They gave me a half-day crash course. Read more of this post

Politician has change of heart over pangasius

Scottish politician Struan Stevenson has had a change of heart.

Late last year, the VP of the European Parliament’s fisheries committee took a jab at pangasius, calling Vietnam’s Mekong River where the fish is raised “filthy” and accusing the industry of “ruthlessly” exploiting workers.

But on Monday, after accepting the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers’ (VASEP) invitation to visit Vietnam and seeing the industry first-hand, Stevenson rescinded his criticism, this time calling the industry “dynamic.” Read more of this post

European Parliament Member Stevenson visiting Viet Nam’s Pangasius industry

Source: VASEP

MEP Struan Stevenson is paying a visit to Viet Nam and the local Pangasius industry from 13-18 May at the invitation of VASEP after hearing so many misinformation in Europe about the fish.

On the first day of his trip, Stevenson was received by Agricultural and Rural Development vice Minister Nguyen Thi Xuan Thu and Nafiqad vice Director Tran Thi Bich Nga and learned about the fisheries industry in Viet Nam as well as the quality and food safety management system there. Read more of this post

Establishment of a fund for pangasius export: MARD initiative

On April 21st 2011 in the Official Letter No.1075/BNN-CB, MARD proposed to the Vietnamese Government to establish a fund for pangasius export development

Accordingly, the nonprofit fund will work on the principle of consensus among Vietnamese pangasius export enterprises and their voluntary in response to the sustainable development of pangasius industry in Vietnam.The fund is expected to come from Read more of this post

Vietnam seafood industry overcomes challenges

According to the latest forecast by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD), seafood exports in 2011 might reach from US$ 5.7 to US$ 5.8 billion, higher than expected in the late 2010 (about US$ 200 million) and increased from US$ 0.7 to US$ 0.8 billion compared to 2010.

This forecast is based on the fact that global demand for seafood is increasing drastically, especially in large markets such as the U.S., EU,Canada, and Japan. This is an opportunity for Viet Nam seafood export to reach US$5.8 billion in 2011. Read more of this post

Seafood exports expected to hit US$5.3 billion

Although most seafood businesses have not earned a profit in recent times due to increasing input costs and other difficulties such as lack of materials, they are expected to reach their US$5.3 billion export target.

Difficulties

Seafood exports to most major markets grew, such as the US (up 39 percent), Germany (up 32 percent and Canada (up 200 percent). Tra fish and shrimp also maintained growth in their traditional US, Japan and EU markets.

However, according to the Vietnamese Seafood Exporters and Processors (VASEP), Vietnamese seafood products still face many challenges. For example, the World Wildlife Fund for Nature (WWF) put Vietnamese tra fish on the red list in the 2010-2011 manual guidelines for seafood consumers in six European countries. Read more of this post

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