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Fruit growers urged to improve quality controls, standards
20 | 07 | 2007
Thoi Bao Kinh Te Viet Nam (Vietnam Economic Times) spoke to Dr Le Thi Thu Hong, a researcher from the Southern Fruit Research Institute, about fruit quality control

Viet Nam’s accession to the World Trade Organisation (WTO) has brought about both opportunities and challenges for small farmers. What can be done to improve fruit quality?

It is said that there are four rules for fruit quality control. Firstly, consumers decide the quality. Secondly, quality control must be planned, implemented and managed. Thirdly, problems that interfere with crop quality can appear at any point during the production, not just at the end of the process. And finally, workers taking part in production and delivery are equally responsible for fruit quality.

The best solution for improving fruit quality is to increase competition for high-quality goods among farmers and producers.

How does one improve the quality of fruit through market mechanisms? Can you clarify that point?

Controlling the quality of fruit can be done by promoting and encouraging products that meet the demand of customers and producers. Checking out and amending all the elements of the production chain is important for achieving the Good Agriculture Practice standard.

To control fruit quality, sellers should always provide customers with proof of quality. Every aspect of both production and delivery should be well documented and verified.

Fruit quality control in Viet Nam also aims to reduce prices so that sellers and buyers get the most for their money.

However, strategies and implementation of fruit quality control on exports have been a challenge for the sector.

Meeting quality standards is not enough; products have to find a place in the international market so they can begin to overcome technological barriers facing the country in its WTO accession.

What can be done to improve the quality of Viet Nam’s fruit?

Quality control methods can be implemented during the harvest, in storage, in packaging, drying, classifying, as well as during delivery.

Implementing these methods will reduce post harvest losses.

It is necessary to assess obstacles to producing high-quality fruit so we know what to avoid. There are four steps to that, including analysing the risks, recognising them, controlling them and announcing methods to avoid them in the future.

At present, the international market is paying close attention to monitoring the presence of poisonous substances in fruits like heavy metals, dioxin and nitrates.

Do we know what causes tainted or low-quality fruit?

Finding out what happens at each point in the process is an important factor for controlling product safety. The system and methods of examining the production process must be clear. When a product has a problem concerning safety or quality, it should immediately be known what caused the problem and how it can be fixed in the future. In addition, we should know when to remove the product from the market altogether.

Product safety should be monitored throughout the entire process. Each person who takes part in the process has to be aware and educated on the topic.

Source: Vietnam News
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