Risks for national agricultural brand
Each country has its brand of agricultural products, which has been built over many years. However, building a brand is difficult; keeping the brand is even more difficult because many risks that can affect the brand.
In early July, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) reported the risk of disease from Salmonella, found in papayas imported from Mexico, causing 71 people in 6 states to become ill and receive medical treatment.
Up to 80% of papaya consumed in the US is imported from Mexico; although there are no official statistics, this incident is said to cause a significant reduction in exporting papaya in particular and other Mexican agricultural products in general.
Another case is Poland, which exports 500,000 tons of beef every year, currently facing scandals using sick, and dead cows for slaughter and export. The scandal has caused the price of Polish beef to plummet in recent years, estimated that this industry lost more than 160 million USD this year.
It is worth mentioning here that before the reportage of some slaughterhouses was released, Polish beef was still exported to more than 11 EU countries, which have strict import standards. There are still loopholes in monitoring business operations, supply chains, and especially the process of declaring food origin from Poland.
After the incident, French President Emmanuel Macron called for increasing the use of technologies such as Blockchain in the EU to promote the agriculture industry and address food traceability concerns. President Macron mentioned that the technology, which allows us to authenticate and retrieve all information from raw products to packaging and exporting, should be seen as the “first line” to penetrate the EU market.
What is the solution for Vietnamese agricultural products?
Vietnam has many types of agricultural products for exporting, ranking No. 2 in Southeast Asia and the 15th in the world in terms of export volume. Moreover, two important Free Trade Agreements, EVFTA, and CPTPP were signed and come into effect from 2019, with high expectations that will positively impact exporting value of Vietnamese agricultural products.
Obviously, when Vietnam exports more and more products, the burden of building brands for Vietnamese agricultural products has become increasingly important. However, the agricultural sector in general and the strategy of building a national brand for agricultural products, in particular, have so far faced many challenges.
For example, up to 80% of tea products (the fifth most valuable exporting agricultural product of Vietnam) is exported under the names of Indian and Chinese brands due to the absence of a national brand. According to Dr. Nguyen Dang Nghia, Agriculture Specialist, we do not do well the Vietnamese agricultural brand, so it leads to a sad fact that “Vietnamese agricultural products have been losing at home.”
Making the product traceability information transparent is becoming more critical when Vietnam is “drastically” pursuing the dream of building a national agricultural product brand.
It is possible to define a Vietnamese agricultural product brand, including name, logo, label and agricultural product image, accompanied by geographical indications, origin information, and quality certification for export according to international organizations such as FDA, EU, GlobalGAP, …
Among the many factors that affect brands, ensuring accurate, transparent, and honest origin information is considered the most difficult when an agricultural exporter wants to declare to customers. A study by Orange Silicon Valley and Food System 6 showed that exporting agricultural products to the US have to be transferred through 15-25 intermediaries before the consumers buy them. This makes the update of product information through each step more complicated and often leads to errors.
Due to the scandals of agricultural products in recent years, finding the solutions for making the traceability information transparent has become more and more critical, especially when Vietnam is “drastically” pursuing the dream of building a national agricultural product brand.
Currently, Blockchain is the solution to the obstacles of the centralized server-based traceability (common server). Because the information once updated on Blockchain is transparent and safe, and impossible to delete or change, thanks to the principle of information stored on peer network (P2P Network) and decentralized, along with encrypted data entry (cryptography) based on consensus protocol.
Blockchain with accurate and immutable information will eliminate damages and losses in the entire supply chain processes. Additionally, the quality of goods is also ensured because the information flow is strictly and consistently controlled. When there is adequate information about products’ origin, the time of verifying the information for exporting will be reduced; thus, the products will easily access the markets. As a result, consumer confidence in products and brands has been increased, since then the Vietnamese brand for agricultural products is boosted.
In Vietnam, traceability is expected to be a solid foundation to build Vietnam’s national agricultural product brand on a global map. The application of technology platforms to traceability in particular and Vietnamese agriculture, in general, is still in the first stage, but there are some pioneer businesses who take the lead in creating technology products and applications in order to help Vietnamese agricultural products meet the strict requirements of major imported markets.
WOWTRACE: Blockchain-based Traceability solution
L’indochine Chocolate, a brand of a Vietnamese chocolate producer who specializes in exporting to Japan and serving high-end customer groups, collaborates with WOWTRACE in applying blockchain-based traceability solutions to more than 150,000 products distributed over 30 restaurants, 5-star hotels and shops in Ho Chi Minh City and Da Nang.
“By applying Blockchain for traceability, we can prove to our customers the origin and quality of L’indochine Chocolate, thereby helping to build L’indochine’s brand and belief for customers.” – Mr. Nguyen Van Hung – Producing Manager, L’indochine Chocolate said
The operation flow of WOWTRACE.
Mr.Nguyen Viet Anh, Key Account Director of WOWTRACE, says: “The application of traceability solutions into the supply chain not only brings transparency and proves the quality of products but also contributes to building the trusts of consumers for the brand.”
As one of the Vietnamese startups to invest and apply the Blockchain platform into traceability technology in the supply chain, WOWTRACE succeeds in assisting businesses to build up a brand for Vietnamese agricultural products through many traceability projects on mango, dried fruit, organic food …
Currently, WOWTRACE provides free consultations to enterprises, startups, and agribusinesses with in-depth guidance on solutions, processes, and the importance of applying traceability to agricultural products. In addition, WOWTRACE offers a free solution for businesses with 5,000 traceability stamps or more depending on the business.
More information about WOWTRACE: https://www.wowtrace.io/
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