The US-based Mazzetta Company will cooperate with a Vietnamese firm to train fish breeders to farm and process pangasius (tra and basa fish) in accordance with US standards, according to a briefing on Thursday.
Tom Mazzetta, chairman of Mazzetta Company LLC, told media in HCMC that his firm and animal feed producer Proconco would support farmers in the Mekong Delta province of An Giang to set up a closed fish-farming program that includes fish feeding, farming, processing and consumption.
Proconco will invest in research and development to ensure the quality of fish feed and support Vietnamese farmers in farming techniques and processing methods so that their products will meet the US standards.
"Tracing and sustainability are challenges to Vietnam's tra fish to the US, which has high demands in product standards," said Mazzetta.
Challenges to Vietnam's fishery industry may increase as the US government is considering including Vietnam's tra and basa fish in its catfish list under the 2008 Farm Bill. If the fish is included in the list, it must satisfy stricter farming regulations and inspection.
Mazzetta said the Vietnamese government should have plans to step into the case to protect farmers.
During their working trip from March 24-26, representatives from Mazzetta Company worked with Vietnam's Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and the Ministry of Industry and Trade in an effort to boost the export of tra and basa fish to the US.
Vietnam shipped 47,000 tons of tra and basa fish worth US$134 million to the US last year.