Productivity and product quality of Vietnamese pork is low. Nevertheless, Vietnam is ranking in the top 10 of most pork consuming countries. In order to enhance the pork sector, Fresh Studio and its projects partner are creating the first safe and sustainable pork value chain in Vietnam.
Pork is by far the most consumed meat in Vietnam- with an annual pork consumption of approximately 30 kg per capita/year. The domestic value of reaches at least US$ 8 billion per year. However, compared to international standards, the productivity and product quality of Vietnamese pork is low. Vietnamese pig farmers face a strong pressure to provide low pig price. This makes the business one of the highest risk sectors in agriculture production. On the other hand, there is also a big concern from the society about the safety of pork caused by pig diseases, chemical residues and unhygienic conditions at slaughterhouses and point of sale.
This project aims to focus on provision of certified safe pork and on transparency and controllability of the pork value chain- from piglets to fresh and processed meat in the retail. It takes into account the environmental issues as well as the welfare of workers and animal to meet the requirements of international and national certification standards (e.g GlobalGAP, VietGAHP) and customers’ expectations. Different activities and approaches will be implemented during the project period:
Set up the demonstration farm as a model for farm management and training
Develop a set of quality standards covering the whole value chain , from farm to fork
Assess and select contracted farmers who have the capacity and interest to produce safe pork meat according to the developed standards
Offer trainings and capacity building for all stakeholders along the chain
Provide quality control and assurance for pig production and pork meat supply
Development and launch of a marketing campaign aiming to give value to the certified safe pork
Ensure that social responsibilities principles are implemented all along the chain
Respect animal welfare at all stages
The demonstration farm will be the first Global GAP certified pig farm of Vietnam. This farm will serve as a model for sustainable pig production. The establishment of a new sales channel for professional sustainable and safe pig farmers is expected to provide trust for consumers and gives farmers recognition and premium price. The creation of a safe and sustainable pork value chain will deliver Vietnamese consumers with domestic certified safe pork.
Vietnam is in the process of providing the food necessary for health and growth. While nutritional food is essential in a daily diet, food systems and nutritional intake are changing. The trend in Vietnam is too little-too bad (low nutritional status and low quality) or too much-too sweet/fat.
ACIAR and University of Adelaine organized a small discussion workshop on the 1st and 2nd of December 2014 with the title ‘Nutrition sensitive agriculture- looking through a nutrition lens’. Nutrition sensitive agriculture aims to maximize the impact of nutrition outcomes for the poor, while minimizing the unintended negative nutritional consequences of agricultural interventions and policies on the poor, especially women and young children (World Bank, 2013).
The workshop assembled researchers, development specialists and agencies working in the area of measuring nutritional impact, food security, diet diversity and consumption to share current research findings, indicators and approaches.
Several keynote speakers were invited to share their thoughts on the different nutrition topics in different areas.
According to Ms. Wendy Umberger – Director Global Food Studies and A/Professor Agricultural and Food Economics, University of Adelaide – are food systems changing. The transformation of traditional and modern retailing may impact the health of society. She examined the relationship between food market environment, supermarket penetration, dietary changes, diet related diseases among urban Indonesian households and likely impacts of modern retailing on smallholder farmers in Indonesia.
Ms. Ellen Goddard – Professor and Co-operative Chair, Agricultural Marketing and Business, University of Alberta – discussed the enhancement food and nutrition security during a study on household home gardening in India. She pointed to the effect of growing fruit and vegetables by households, which doesn’t imply an improvement of the nutritional quality of the diets.
Mr. Nguyen Dinh Quang – UNICEF – presented results from NNSSS and MICS research on the nutritional status of women & children in Vietnam. In his presentation he highlighted the growing issue of stunting, an indicator of nutritional status, among children below 5 years and the disparity among rural regions.
Ms. Sigrid Wertheim-Heck – Marketing and BD director of Fresh Studio – is working on dietary topics over the last years and highlighted the circumstance in urban Vietnam: the first impression of nutritious intake seems decent; however the trend is two sides 1) not having enough or 2) not eating enough of the right products. Fresh Studio showed that 70% of Hanoi population is facing potentially dietary issues and the access towards healthy and safe diet is limited in terms of income, action radius and knowledge. The challenge is how to introduce healthy food into the daily diet.
Ms. Maria Yvette Reyes and Mr. Nguyen An Vu – World Vision Vietnam – spoke about how to demonstrate impact on specific child well-being aspirations, implying that every child should enjoy good health, should be educated for live, feel love and be able to express love and is protected and participating. Integrated community based meetings of caregivers including among others interactive games about hygiene, child care, nutrition, feeding practices, regular child growth monitoring. The positive impact of interventions with nutrition community clubs was supported by Ms. Nguyen Thi Thuyet Mai – Vietnamese Women’s Union. VWU is working with 755 community clubs in more than 30 areas in Vietnam among others with Unilever’s program to empower women.
Where to from here?
Investments have to be made to develop modules. Vietnam is a good starting place, since a lot of good national data is available (e.g. World vision, NIN, Unicef) and the capacity is there to measure the data in order to develop modules, to check the robustness of different nutrition methods and to create interventions to meet the challenges.
A fruitful platform where lessons learned were shared and future initiatives and nutritional interventions collaboration were made.