Phu Quoc - Today, Vice Minister of Trade and Industry cum Chairwoman of the Steering Committee of the European Trade Policy and Investment Support Project (EU-MUTRAP) Madame Ho Thi Kim Thoa handed over the EU Certificate of Protected Designation of Origin of “Phú Quốc” (PDO “Phú Quốc”) to the representative of Phú Quốc Fish Sauce Association, in the presence of Ambassador – Head of Delegation of the European Union to Vietnam Dr. Franz Jessen and Mr. Mai Văn Huỳnh, Deputy Chairman of the Kien Giang Province People’s Committee witnessed the hand-over ceremony.
In an earlier event on 15 July at the European Commission premise in Brussels, Deputy Director-General of the European Commission's Directorate for Agriculture Madame Loretta Dormal Marino officially delivered the EU PDO certificate to Vice Minister Ho Thi Kim Thoa who was representing the Ministry of Trade and Industry.
The Phu Quoc Extract of Fish (fish sauce as common name) is the first product from an ASEAN country that obtained the PDO protection in the territory of the 28 EU members, and it is the first Vietnamese Geographical Indication to be also recognized and protected in the EU; this important achievement has been obtained with the technical support of the EU through the MUTRAP projects (phase II and III).
Being protected in the EU market under the PDO “Phú Quốc”, only fish sauce, produced and bottled in the Phu Quoc islands, can be distributed under that name. This recognition will ensure consumers to enjoy specific qualities and authenticity of the product, as well as to prevent the illegal presence of pirated products and counterfeit.
Dr. Franz Jessen, Ambassador, Head of Delegation of the European Union to Viet Nam, stated: “The recognition of the Nuoc mam Phu Quoc as a product of protected designation of origin (PDO) in the EU is a great achievement. It is a concrete result of the effective cooperation with the EU. The protection ensured in the EU will result in a price premium that will directly benefit the Vietnamese producers. It is a clear example of the potential of the recognition of Vietnamese GI (Geographic Indication) products. The EU-Viet Nam FTA represents a great opportunity to expand the protection of Vietnamese GIs."
The ceremony was followed by a workshop on “Regulations-Measures of Quality Control and promotion of Phu Quoc fish sauce”, organized by the Kien Giang Provincial Department of Science and Technology in cooperation with the EU-MUTRAP.
Production of Phu Quoc fish sauce reached its peak in 2012 (around 25 million litres annually produced), however, a decline is expected in 2013 due to a severe shortage of anchovies that recently affected Phu Quoc producers.
Ensuring the quality of inputs and production process of Phu Quoc fish sauce in compliance with the EU PDO registration is therefore one of the main concerns for the Quality Control Committee of Phu Quoc fish sauce, as well as for all enterprises which expect to be granted the use of EU “Phú Quốc” PDO.
Fighting against pirated products and counterfeit is also essential in the Vietnamese domestic market, it is therefore crucial to organize trade promotion and marketing activities to raise the awareness among enterprises and consumers about the and authenticity that only the fish sauce labelled with the PDO “Phú Quốc” assure.
EU Delegation to Viet Nam: Ms Vien Ngoc Bich , tel: 04 3 9461783 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
EU-MUTRAP Project: Mr. Pham Ngoc Khoi, Project Information Officer, Tel: (04) 39378472; Email: email@example.com
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