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US basa market plan unveiled   2010-04-05 - Viet Nam News

Leading US importers of premium-frozen seafood Mazzetta and Amanda will implement a co-operation programme with Viet Nam-based animal feed manufacturer Proconco to boost exports of basa fish to the US market.

As long as the details of the law have not been finalised, Viet Nam still has the chance to work with the US to make it fair for the Vietnamese industry.

At a meeting with the ministries of Agriculture and Rural Development, Foreign Affairs, the National Agro-Forestry-Fisheries Quality Assurance Department, and local farmers in the Mekong province of An Giang last month, the three companies unveiled the "From Farm to Table" concept that underlies the co-operation programme.

The programme will choose a Mekong province to be a pioneer in applying the integration concept including high quality feed, standardisation of farming activity, use of approved processing factory, and establishing product brands.

The model will later be expanded across the Cuu Long (Mekong) Delta.

Proconco will invest in researching and developing the model to ensure the quality of fish feed. It will also support farmers with farming and processing technologies to meet the requirements of customers in North America.

Once the new model succeeds, Mazzetta would increase the imports of Vietnamese tra and basa fish from the current 600 tonnes to 1,000 tonnes per month, the company said. During the meeting, the group also made recommendations on how Viet Nam could deal with the US Farm Bill.

According to the group, Farm Bill is already in place but the details of the law have not yet been determined. The details of this law will regulate the requirements tra and basa farming in Viet Nam will have to meet to be able to export to the US market.

Howerver, according to industry experts, this is not a reasonable law as pangasius and catfish in the US are different species and both have different farming practices.

As long as the details of the law have not been finalised, Viet Nam still has the chance to work with the US to make it fair for the Vietnamese industry.

This required Viet Nam be more active and display urgency in responding to US action.

Tom Mazzetta, founder and CEO of Mazzetta, said the company shared similar concerns with Viet Nam about the new trade barrier. Coming to Viet Nam to talk about it was a proactive action taken by the company in this regard, he said.

He said the company had advised Vietnamese authorities to take quick action to deal with issues raised by the Farm Bill.

He added Mazzetta and Amanda will also try to persuade the US government to reconsider tax rates and trading difficulties facing the export of tra and basa fish to the US.

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