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Vietnam’s organic units certified by U.S. dwindles

By Trung Chanh

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CAN THO – The number of units in Vietnam certified organic by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is down to 164 from 269.

At an online forum to connect and consume organic agricultural and processed products held on September 28, Pham Minh Duc, vice chairman of the Vietnam Organic Agriculture Association, cited data from the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development. It indicated that Vietnam used to have 269 units qualified with organic certification accepted by the USDA.

However, the number declined to 164, of which 105 ceased operation, accounting for a 30% loss in certificated units.

Duc estimates that 94% of units certified by the USDA are businesses and 6% are households.

Nguyen Minh Tien, director of the Trade Promotion Centre for Agriculture under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, said that Vietnam’s organic product market brought some US$30-40 million in 2018. As of now, 174,000 hectares of organic agricultural land generate US$50-60 million.

In Vietnam, seven organizations are authorized to issue certificates accepted by the USDA—Control Union, OneCert, Maya, Ecocert, BioAgri Cert, ACT and Ceres. A majority of certificates in Vietnam are issued by the Control Union, which holds 71% of the market.

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