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Phu Quoc fish sauce to have more EU consumers

Monday, October 15, 2012, 10:37 GMT+7

Phu Quoc fish sauce is expected to enjoy a new wave of consumers from the EU after the term "Phu Quoc" was formally registered as a Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) for a naturally fermented Vietnamese fish extract in the EU on October 11. Phu Quoc sauce, a well-known delicacy nationwide that originated from the namesake island in the southeastern province of Kien Giang, has been added to the more than 1,000 names of agricultural products and foodstuffs protected as PGI (Protected Geographical Indication) or PDO, according to a statement EU released on October 12. European consumers are now willing to open their wallets to buy Phu Quoc fish sauce thanks to its origin, said Jean-Jacques Bouflet, Minister-Counselor for Trade of the Delegation of the European Commission to Vietnam, in an interview with Tuoi Tre. “Seeing that a bottle of fish sauce originated from Phu Quoc, consumers will immediately know that the seasoning possesses special qualities that only Phu Quoc has,” he said. Phu Quoc fish sauce is the eleventh non-EU product name to receive the protected status, following Columbian coffee, Indian Darjeeling tea and eight Chinese products, and Bouflet said it is not easy to receive the status. In order to acquire the PDO, the product must have qualities or properties that are significantly or exclusively determined by the geographical environment, including natural and human factors, and its production, processing and preparation must take place within the determined geographical area.Benefits The counselor said the protected status will create more consumers of Phu Quoc fish sauce, which used to be only well-known in Vietnam. Some half a billion EU consumers will now have the chance to explore this Vietnamese traditional seasoning, but it will also depend on how the marketing tasks are implemented, he said. “The PDO will also increase the fish sauce’s presence in supermarkets across the EU, rather than only in Asian supermarkets as before,” he said. The fish sauce manufacturers will also gain higher revenues, and Phu Quoc Island may enjoy a tourism boost as the fish sauce is also a channel to promote the island’s image to global tourists. Besides Phu Quoc fish sauce, other agricultural products of Vietnam can also register for the protected status in the future, he said. “Coffee is a good example as Vietnam is the world’s second largest exporter of this commodity, but the Ban Me Thuot coffee brand name is not widely known around the world,” he said.

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