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Can Tho told to build brand names for farm produce

Fruits in the Cần Thơ Agricultural Products Week in Hà Nội in March this year. — VNA/VNS Photo

HCM CITY — Businesses in the Cửu Long (Mekong Delta) city of Cần Thơ are facing challenges providing clean agricultural products that conform to international standards, experts said on July 31 at a seminar held in the city.

Trần Giang Khuê, deputy head of the National Office of Intellectual Property in HCM City, said that enterprises should be aware of branding, which plays a major role in the operation of an enterprise.

“Branding of a product is an intangible asset which will increase value over time,” he said. “Branding and intellectual property rights should be a top priority.”

As soon as a business has a creative idea or invention, it should proceed with intellectual property protection activities immediately to protect business secrets, including solutions, designs and trademarks, he added.

When intellectual property rights are ensured, company competitiveness is improved, which encourages creativity and sustainable development.

Nguyễn Hoàng Cung, director of Đại Thuận Thiên Clean Agricultural Products Co. Ltd, said that businesses should seek to acquire certificates needed to protect their intellectual property rights.

Businesses should differentiate themselves from other rivals and have a strong commitment to product quality, which is the core value of a brand, he said.

When dealing with farmers, companies should help them become aware of their responsibilities, such as strictly following contracts and not breaking contracts when other traders offer higher purchase prices.

Businesses also need to strictly control the buying of products from farmers to create “clean and competitive” agricultural products not only in the country but also for the international market.

A representative of Thạnh Đạt Clean Agricultural Cooperative in Vĩnh Thạnh District said the challenges for clean agricultural produce suppliers included high costs and strict procedures.

He said that customers without awareness of product quality often expect a much cheaper price.

Experts recommended that businesses work closely with the media to disseminate information to customers about clean products and to inform them that higher prices may result.

Enterprises also need more support from promotion centres and reputable distribution channels in order to create consumer trust about their product quality.

In addition, enterprises need to seek markets when starting the first steps of production instead of delaying when the products are ready for sale.

Enterprises should also establish their prestige through the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Pyramid, which includes economic, legal, ethical and philanthropic domains, experts said.

The top of the pyramid is the philanthropic domain, indicating that benefits produced by businesses go beyond society’s expectations.

The seminar was held by the Department of Science and Technology in collaboration with the National Office of Intellectual Property under the Ministry of Science and Technology, and the Cần Thơ Farmers Association.