VIETNAM – Ho chi minh city’s Science and Technology Department has cooperated with the National Center for Codes and Barcodes (NBC), to introduce common requirements for traceability systems in compliance with Standard 12850:2019.

The Standard 12850:2019 details requirements on traceability, steps to develop traceability systems for products, data types and applications to use in this task.

The Department and NBC hosted the conference ‘Propagandizing and Disseminating Product Traceability in HCMC in 2022’ as part of the project ‘Implementing and Managing the Traceability System, Legal Documents, National Standards’ throughout the city.

In popular supermarkets like Co.opmart, Go, Big C, most fresh food and produce are attached with a QR code. It is simple for consumers to check product origin as they just need to launch a QR code reader app like Zalo.

Deputy Director of the HCMC Department of Science and Technology Nguyen Thi Kim Hue stated that since 2016, the city has issued various policies to boost product traceability. Until May 2022, nearly 7,000 companies in 19 provinces have followed these policies when selling goods in HCMC.

Sharing valuable experience on launching the support model to attach QR codes onto vegetables in cooperatives in HCMC, Vo Duc Duy An from the Consultation and Support Center for Agricultural Economic Restructuring, said that after the piloting time, the performance of this model increased from attaching QR codes on 4 tonnes of produce a day in 2016 to 21 tonnes per day in 2020.

This greatly raised the awareness of produce processing companies in providing precise and sufficient information for their merchandise to better serve consumers.

Pham Thi Xuan Hong from HCMC Food Safety Management Board stated that her organization has issued a new 10-day procedure for companies to approach and register for QR codes.

The organization has also cooperated with provinces to launch the project ‘Managing, Identifying, and Tracing Product Origin’. Training sessions for food processing and trading companies about food safety, including traceability, have been held as well.

HCMC Food Safety Management Board proposed that professional agencies soon introduce detailed regulations on methods, processes, and sanctions as to product traceability as well as mechanisms and policies to support companies, particularly small ones, to install tracing QR codes.

“Our organization will continue to work with the departments of Science & Technology, Industry & Trade, Agriculture & Rural Development in HCMC and the food safety departments in provinces to implement the project ‘Managing, Identifying, and Tracing the Origin of Pork, Poultry, Eggs in the 2021-2025 Period’.

“Simultaneously, produce under our management with traceability QR codes, are aided to conveniently approach consumers,” said Pham Thi Xuan Hong.

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