Raising awareness about the responsibility of appraisal in the supply chain for Seafood enterprises

Ms. Tran Thi Hong Lien, Deputy Director of the Office of Gender Employers, VCCI said that, according to the survey, the Government of Vietnam has signed 15 free trade agreements with countries and territories in order to capture market opportunities from these agreements, businesses need to understand as well as comply with the commitments and requirements of the partner countries' markets. Besides the requirements for productivity and quality, foreign partners are more and more inclined to set more requirements related to society and the environment in the process of selecting suppliers. This trend is being accelerated by regulations on due diligence related to sustainable development that have been enacted in several developed countries. These regulations require businesses to assess and reduce the risk of violating labor and environmental standards throughout the supply chain.

Although Vietnamese enterprises are not directly governed by the above provisions, they are still affected when participating in the supply chain of foreign companies, which is under the subject matter of the law. The early capture of the requirements of potential customers will help domestic enterprises prepare an effective internal monitoring system, ensuring their standard of labor and production activities environment. As one of the top 5 largest seafood export markets in Vietnam, improving the ability to meet international regulations and standards of the European Union (EU) for Vietnam's seafood exports to helping this product improve its competitiveness, penetrating strongly into the EU market is a necessary issue for this industry. This is also the industry directly affected when the new German Act on Business Due Diligence in the Supply Chain and the Draft European Union Directive on corporate sustainability due diligence are enforced and come into force.

Besides, Ms. Tran Thi Hong Lien discussed with businesses some information about due diligence responsibilities in the supply chain, including differences with other requirements for implementing social responsibility and some legal regulations in other countries, which apply to companies in the supply chain and an overview of Vietnam's labor, social and environmental regulations that businesses must comply with international commitments as required by Vietnamese law and the Code of Conduct for Brands.

VCCI, which has the role of representative for the labor organization, established the Responsible Business Helpdesk (RBH). The support in technology and finance from the German government will provide information, enhancing standard knowledge and requirement for the appraisal for enterprises in Vietnam as well as connecting experts consulting service providers in Vietnam.

Mr. Nguyen Hoai Nam, Deputy General Secretary of VASEP said that the Seafood industry is a conditional business that complies regulations of Vietnamese laws. Buyers are required to have certifications, followed by German law or other countries. When the enterprises export to foreign markets, they have complied with standards, such as GlobalGAP, BAP, ACC certificates, as well as social responsibility, environmental regulations, and chemical management… For at least In the past 10-15 years, the majority of Vietnamese seafood enterprises have prepared very carefully, but they still need to learn more about the law on appraisal responsibility in the supply chain. The buyer will use to apply the regulations to the Vietnamese Enterprise. Hopefully, the preparation of Seafood enterprises in the past years will create a good premise for participation in the European supply chain.

At the end of the meeting, businesses appreciated the timely information provided by VCCI, VASEP and had some requests to clarify and train on the issue of due diligence in the supply chain, such as identifying risks, appraisal process, compliance with regulations on labor, society, environment...

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