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Quality food hard to enter schools, enterprises
Vu Yen
Monday,  Apr 16, 2018,18:41 (GMT+7)

Quality food hard to enter schools, enterprises

Vu Yen

HCMC – Enterprises participating in the price stabilization program find it hard to supply their food products to schools and companies in export processing zones and industrial parks, as kitchens in such establishments require cheap products, traders said here last week.

At a meeting to review the city’s price stabilization program last year and the last Lunar New Year holiday, many participating enterprises lamented obstacles in approaching schools and enterprises, despite the city government’s encouragement to do so.

Ung The Lam, director of Nong Gia Trang Consulting and Management Co Ltd, said he had introduced vegetables and fruits at schools and enterprises in export processing zones and industrial parks but purchase managers there often ask for high discounts, even 20-30%. They tend to use poor quality materials to prepare meals for workers.

Pham Thi Huan, general director of Ba Huan JSC, which is a leading poultry egg and meat producer, said the company has struggled to introduce its products at export processing zones and industrial parks in HCMC but no enterprises bought its products for workers’ meals.

Huan said the reason is that such enterprises have had suppliers of poor quality food at lower costs. Ba Huan used to sell their products at Hiep Phuoc Industrial Park but earned a trivial sale of only VND500,000 a day.

The company has invested heavily in equipment to produce goods with high quality and clear origin to supply to schools and enterprises at prices 5-10% lower than market prices. Therefore, Huan asked for the support of HCMC departments and agencies.

Meanwhile, the HCMC Export Processing and Industrial Zones Authority (Hepza) has called on enterprises to provide more food products to export processing zones and industrial parks.

According to Hepza, some 290,000 workers at export processing zones and industrial parks in the city have demand for safe food but few traders introduced their products under the price stabilization program there. Enterprises organize around 20 mobile sale programs at export processing zones and industrial parks a month but products are not diversified, mainly dried food, fish sauce, soy sauce and rice, while workers are in need of fresh food with reasonable prices.

Nguyen Huynh Trang, deputy director of the HCMC Department of Industry and Trade, said the department would work with relevant departments and agencies to seek solutions to the problem. However, the HCMC Food Safety Board and competent agencies should take administrative measures to ensure the safety of food at kitchens of schools and enterprises.

Up to 88 enterprises have registered to get involved in the price stabilization program this year including 66 production and trading enterprises and 12 credit institutions.

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