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Vinh Hoan Corp – Building on GLOBALG.A.P. Aquaculture at Every Stage of Production

09 August 2013

VIET NAM - Vinh Hoan Corporation is one of the top processors and exporters of pangasius/basa fish (Pangasius Hypophthalmus and Pangasius Bocourti) in Vietnam and a GLOBALG.A.P. supplier member since 2009. And when it decided to initiate its Green Farm System to assure its product quality and safety throughout the entire production process, GLOBALG.A.P. was the platform the company built it on.

“Quality and traceability are the foundations on which we have constructed, consolidated and developed our business to be able to provide our customers with reliable, delicious and healthy products.”

Established in 1997 in the province of Dong Thap in the Mekong Delta, the company was built on quality and traceability right from the start. Part of the company’s move toward new and innovative methods of sustainable development, the Green Farm System, a production and processing control program, is based on GLOBALG.A.P. Certification. The GLOBALG.A.P. Aquaculture Standard delivers the perfect framework for implementing Good Aquaculture Practice along the entire production chain, from broodstock, seedlings and feed suppliers to farming, harvesting, processing and post-harvest handling operations. It serves as a practical manual for ensuring food safety, minimal environmental impact and compliance with animal welfare and worker health and safety requirements.

Food Safety Assurance & Traceability

Food Safety: On Vinh Hoan’s GLOBALG.A.P. certified farms, all source materials used in the fish farming process undergo a strict monitoring and control process. Every possible risk related to food safety on the production chain is evaluated and analyzed with risk prevention policies in place to control and eliminate such hazards. A food safety contingency plan is also in place to respond swiftly to any unexpected situations that may occur during farming and transportation to the processing plant.

An HACCP plan for farming was developed to monitor and control all potential risk points along every stage of the farming process including the fingerlings, the feed, the application of veterinary medicine, chemical treatment and overall water quality. All use of medicine and/or chemicals on the farms have been declared in accordance with national regulations, and rules on bio-security control have been set up at every stage of the farming process.

Traceability: Vinh Hoan maintains complete records on all source materials and can trace their origin at all times. A strict and seamless chain of information has been established and recorded to ensure the traceability of all the factors related to the fish production process. Records include data on the origin of each lot of fingerlings, the quantity and the trace information of the feed for each feeding, and the use of medical and/chemical substances with clear information on the date, quantity, the reason of use and its origin.

Resource and Waste Management

Resources are carefully managed via key indicators that cover energy and natural resource usage (water, electricity, fuel) and the equipment is maintained regularly to minimize the loss of energy at every stages of farming.

Solid wastes: Solid wastes on the farm are well identified and classified according to their nature and hazardous properties.

Waste water: In aquaculture, waste water management plays a major role in maintaining a healthy environmental. Vinh Hoan GLOBALG.A.P. certified farms have waste water treatment systems and planning to control the quality of effluent. Waste water from farming activities is treated in the sedimentary pond prior to discharge in the nature, where the quality of water is in compliance with national regulation. Waste water is stored in the sedimentation pond and is filtered and treated naturally using aquatic plants and animals that can eat sediments and suspended solid. Technicians monitor key parameters of water quality and effluent water samples are periodically sent to independent labs to be tested and monitored against all the criteria regulated by national laws.

Sludge Management: Sludge is collected, transported and used as fertilizer for agricultural land. All hazardous wastes are collected and treated by companies licensed for hazardous waste handling. Recycling wastes (plastic container, feed bag, etc.) are collected and sent for re-manufacturing instead of burning or burying. Workers are trained to maintain hygiene and learn to classify wastes.

Environmental Integration and Risk Control: Vinh Hoan farms don’t use chemicals that are toxic to the ecosystem. Special facilities are equipped to retain the leakage oil from engines and they are regularly checked to avoid leakage risks. Chemical storage is constructed safely to avoid the contamination from liquid spillages into the environment. There are also secondary containers for gasoline storage or containers to avoid causing contamination to the nature in the case of an oil spillage incident. Emergency facilities are in place to deal with accidental spillage and the facilities used for dealing with the spillage of liquid are available in the store.

Bio-diversity Protection Policy: Nets are placed at the inlet and outlet of farming ponds to stop fish escaping and so avoid genetic pollution. Incidents are identified and records maintained regularly. Instructions about bio-diversity protection displayed on the farm encourage workers and staff to respect the environment, who receive education on bio-diversity and preservation of rare and endangered animals.

Worker Health, Safety and Welfare

Vinh Hoan provides ongoing training to update its workers on the basic requirements in aquaculture, safe chemical handling, awareness about food safety and their roles in food safety assurance. Through GLOBALG.A.P. Certification, workers have gained improvements in their working and living conditions, including good accommodation, clean facilities for showers and a dining place.

Workers also receive adequate health and safety training and a preventive measure and emergency response plan is in place. Improvements in labor relation involve regular two-way communication meetings between the workers and management. Preventive measures with regards to health safety include first-aid training, implementing warning boards, clothing protection, and appointing a person responsible for worker’s health and safety. Vinh Hoan also monitors occupational accidents as performance indicators of well-being at work.

Animal Health and Welfare

A fish health and welfare risk assessment along the entire chain of production has been conducted to minimize and eliminate health risks. Veterinary Health Control Plan has been put into place to monitor fish health at every stage of fish growth, which has contributed to the reduction of chemical usage during farming.

To learn more about Vinh Hoan, please click here.

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