Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) and chairwoman of the Steering Committee of the European Trade Policy and Investment Support Project (EU-MUTRAP) Ho Thi Kim Thoa has recently presented the Certificate of Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) to the Phu Quoc Fish Sauce Association.
This achievement marks another success with the help of MUTRAP projects (phases II and III).
At an event on July 15 at the European Commission headquarters in Brussels, deputy director-general of the European Commission’s Directorate for Agriculture Madame Loretta Dormal Marino handed over the PDO to Thoa, who represented the MoIT at the event.
Phu Quoc Fish Sauce is the first product from an ASEAN country to receive PDO protection from the EU.
It is also the first Vietnamese geographical indication (GI) to be recognised and protected in the EU.
Protected in the EU market under the PDO “Phú Quốc”, only fish sauce produced and bottled in the Phu Quoc island, can be distributed under that name. This recognition will ensure quality and authenticity of the product.
“Recognition of this as a PDO product in the EU is a great achievement. It demonstrates the strength and harmony of cooperation between Vietnam and the EU,” said Franz Jessen, Ambassador and Head of the European Union delegation to Vietnam.
“This protection will result in a price premium that will directly benefit the Vietnamese producers. It is also a great example of the potential of GI products and the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement is a great opportunity to expand the protection over Vietnamese GIs,” he added.
The presentation of the PDO was followed by a workshop on “Regulations -measures of quality control and promotion of Phu Quoc Fish Sauce” organised by Kien Giang Provincial Department of Science and Technology with the help of EU-MUTRAP.
Production of Phu Quoc Fish Sauce reached a peak in 2012, with annual production at around 25 million litres. However, a decline is expected this year due to a severe shortage of anchovies.
Jessen therefore emphasised the importance of ingredient and production process quality to all enterprises licenced under the EU PDO.
He added that Vietnam must remain vigilant in its fight against counterfeit products and encouraged the country to organise trade promotion and marketing activities about the authenticity of products under the PDO.
By Thanh Tung