VietGAP standard

VietGAP is the abbreviation of the Vietnamese Good Agricultural Practices, which means that good agricultural practices. It is the application of production methods to produce clean and safe products, especially fresh fruit and vegetable.

Before VietGAP was born, there had been a lot of agricultural production safety program for vegetables, fruits, and used as a beverage. In many regions, the regulations were built into the common process for farmers to implement. However, because the government did not setup any unit to be responsible for testing and certifying or incentive to encourage producers, the trend of producing clean agricultural produce has not been widely developed, and in some places, it appeared for a while then faded and forgotten. 

Then in 2004, the Vietnam Fruit Association participated in a project called "Strengthening Competitiveness" (VNCI) hosted by VCCI (Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Vietnam) and organized a visit to Thailand to learn more about their American-Thailand affiliate programs as well as “GAP Links in western Thailand”. At that time, Thailand was implementing EUREPGAP. 

In the same year, Vietnam Fruit Association along with Gardening Association and VCCI workshop introduced GAP (EUREPGAP) in Ho Chi Minh City. One year later, GAP programs were setup in 6 provinces which are focusing on agriculture located by Tien River. They were operated very efficiently and have brought encouraging results for all 6 provinces.

Realizing the importance of "GAP", Vietnam Gardening Association (sponsored by Syngenta Vietnam) was organizing a survey GAP implementation in Malaysia during 5th – 8th November 2007. Delegation of seven members was led by Dr Vo Mai, Chairman of the Association of Fruits. After the visit, the delegation submitted their report to the leadership of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development on the urgency of establishing VietGAP. Then, on 28th Jan 2008, VietGAP was born. Being established later than EUREGAP, GlobalGAP and GAP of some other Asian countries, VietGAP has the advantage of inheriting their experience and thus applied effectively in an adequately quick speed.

Until today there are hundreds of organizations, units and individuals have products that met VietGAP standards and they are engaging in trading agricultural products trade within Asia region as well as internationally.

The regulations state the main factors in agricultural production such as:

1. Assessment and selection of production

2. Varieties and rootstocks

3. Land management and price

4. Fertilizers and additives

5. Irrigation water

6. Chemicals (including crop protection products)

7. Harvest and post-harvest handling

8. Waste management and remediation

9. Labor safety

10. Records, recordkeeping, traceability and product recall

11. Internal Audit

12. Complaints and resolve complaints

(Issued together with Decision No. 99 / 2008/QD-BNN October 15, 2008 of the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development)

Viet GAP benefits for farmers

After joining WTO, trading industry in Vietnam has experienced many positive changes, notable of which is the amount of direct nad indirect investment increased sharply compared to the one in the previous year. However, quantity of goods exported to foreign countries has not met the budgeted figures of the Government. One of the main reasons is that they did not meet the standard set by the importing country. According to experts, importing and exporting agricultural products market in the world is being controlled by giant supermarkets, multi-national corporations with very high standards of quality, hygiene and food safety. Understanding these difficulties, in 2006 ASEAN announced GAP process (Good Agricultural Practices: Good Agricultural Practice) for its members. And in 2008, Vietnam launched its own standard, abbreviations Viet GAP.

VietGAP is food safety inspection program through from A to Z of the production line. It starts from the farm preparation, cultivation to harvesting, post-harvest storage, including related factors such as: the environment, chemicals, crop protection products, packaging and even the working conditions and welfare of workers in the farm.