Vietnam’s Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Cao Duc Phat, and visiting New Zealand Minister for Food Safety Jo Goodhew agreed to step up cooperation in food safety between the two countries, as they met in Hanoi on Monday.
Goodhew began her four-day working visit to Vietnam on July 26, with a view to reviewing existing cooperation between the two countries in food safety and discussing opportunities to expand the cooperation in the future, according the Vietnam Government Portal.
Minister Phat told his guest that Vietnam has paid special attention to ensuring food safety, considering it a key task of the agricultural sector this year, as well as in the years to come.
This is an issue related to the health of 90 million Vietnamese people as well as of the nearly 100 million others who consume farm produce exported by Vietnam, Minister Phat said.
Vietnam hopes New Zealand shares its experience and assist the Southeast Asian country in training personnel in the field of food safety, he added.
Vietnam also needs New Zealand’s help to build safe food supply chains for the benefit of consumers in various locations in the country, firstly in major cities.
Minister for Food Safety Goodhew said the two countries already signed an agreement in March with an aim to promote cooperation in food safety and improve Vietnam’s food management system.
This agreement creates good opportunities for both countries to step up their bilateral coordination in this field, Goodhew said.
She agreed that the two sides should strengthen and promote collaboration in food safety, considering it very important for them.
She added she concurred with Minister Phat that food must be safe and suitable for consumers not only at home but also in other countries where the food is exported to.
Minister Goodhew said that New Zealand is willing to provide experience and helpful knowledge that Vietnam is interested in, while assisting the country in postgraduate education in the field of animal husbandry, horticulture, aquaculture and building safe food supply chains.
After their talks, the host and guest witnessed the signing of a plan of action on food safety and animal and plant quarantine, and a food safety cooperation agreement between the two countries.