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Vietnam well-prepared to comply with EU anti-deforestation regulation: minister

Vietnam well-prepared to comply with EU anti-deforestation regulation: minister

Friday, June 30, 2023, 16:21 GMT+7
Vietnam well-prepared to comply with EU anti-deforestation regulation: minister
Vietnamese Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Le Minh Hoan (R) and general director of the Directorate-General Environment of the European Commission Florika Fink-Hooijer (C) at the conference on ‘Deforestation-Free Coffee Production and Supply in Compliance with European Union Regulation’ held in Hanoi on June 29, 2023. Photo: C.Tue / Tuoi Tre

Vietnamese Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Le Minh Hoan highlighted Vietnam’s readiness and commitment to adhere to the European Union Deforestation-Free Regulation (EUDR) at a conference held in Hanoi on Thursday afternoon.

Hoan’s ministry collaborated with the EU delegation to Vietnam and the Sustainable Trade Initiative (IDH) to organize the 'Deforestation-Free Coffee Production and Supply in Compliance with European Union Regulation' conference in response to the EUDR that was approved by the European Parliament on May 16.

According to the new regulation, 100 percent of some of Vietnam’s agricultural products, particularly coffee, imported into the European market must have GPS data at farm level which can be used to assess the risk of deforestation through remote sensing monitoring systems.

At Thursday’s conference, officials and professionals shared an overview of the requirements of the new EUDR, and the opportunities and challenges that the regulation may bring to Vietnam's coffee sector. 

They also proposed solutions to support the coffee sector in meeting the standards set by the new regulation within the 18-24-month preparation period set by the EU.

In addition, the organizers presented a national action plan for the Vietnamese coffee sector to comply with the EUDR for the first time to key representatives of the industry and relevant international organizations.

The action plan includes stages of building a public-private partnership, promotion and advocacy, technical solutions, a dialogue channel between Vietnam and the EU, and resource mobilization.

“The European Union Deforestation-Free Regulation, which is expected to take effect from December 2024, will directly affect stakeholders in the supply chains of wood products, rubber, and coffee, as well as impact the livelihoods of farmers, especially the smallholding farmers who make up the majority of Vietnam,” Hoan emphasized.

“Supply chains will face many challenges particularly in terms of location data, traceability, monitoring systems, and deforestation-free supply chain management.

“The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development considers compliance with this regulation not only necessary to meet the requirements of the EU market for exporting key commodities, but also an opportunity to accelerate the implementation of Vietnam’s agricultural development strategy toward transparency, responsibility, sustainability, and green growth.”

Delegates show a Memorandum of Understanding aimed at developing the coffee industry in a deforestation-free approach they signed at the conference on ‘Deforestation-free coffee production and supply in compliance with European Union regulation’ held in Hanoi, June 29, 2023. Photo: C.Tue / Tuoi Tre

Delegates show a memorandum of understanding aimed at developing the coffee industry in a deforestation-free approach they signed at the conference on ‘Deforestation-Free Coffee Production and Supply in Compliance with European Union Regulation’ held in Hanoi on June 29, 2023. Photo: C.Tue / Tuoi Tre

Furthermore, Hoan expressed great appreciation for the cooperation and assistance provided by the European Union, which has made a substantial contribution to the agricultural sector transformation in Vietnam.

The pioneering initiatives of the European Union, such as the Green Deal, From Farm to Fork, and Circular Economy, have served as a source of inspiration and valuable references for Hoan’s ministry, guiding the development of strategies for sustainable agriculture, rural development, and sub-sector plans.

Hoan proposed that the EU share its previous experience and successful models for small-scale enterprises to help them comply with the EUDR. 

He also requested that the EU support the development and implementation of the Green Growth Project for Vietnam’s coffee industry.

In response, Florika Fink-Hooijer, general director of the Directorate-General Environment of the European Commission, said that the EU is committed to supporting Vietnam’s sustainable development. 

Fink-Hooijer shared her belief that through mutual effort, the EU and Vietnam can work toward addressing environmental challenges more effectively, contributing to the overall well-being of Vietnamese citizens and the preservation of the country’s unique natural heritage.

Tran Quynh Chi, regional director of Asia landscapes at IDH, pinpointed the EUDR as a fundamental shift for the entire industry toward transparency and sustainability. 

She also voiced her organization’s commitment to cooperating with central and local partners to carry out synchronized activities in response to the EUDR in Vietnam.

“In addition, IDH will continue calling on domestic and foreign companies and organizations to participate in and contribute to the action program, thereby creating crucial impacts on responsible production, resource protection, and social security,” Chi said.

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Bao Anh - C.Tue / Tuoi Tre News

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