Greater traceability to boost seafood safety

By Mike Stones

- Last updated on GMT

Improved seafood safety through greater traceability are the benefits claimed for a new collaboration between information technology company IBM, food software company FXA Group and two Vietnamese seafood producers.

The IT companies have joined forces with the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP) and the Vietnamese State Agency for Technological Innovation (SATI).

In collaboration with local technology companies, IBM and FXA will set up a system that will use Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology to track Vietnamese seafood exports. Their aim will be to track Vietnamese seafood exports and help to ensure the freshness of Vietnamese seafood products worth more than US$4.25bn last year.

Traceability solutions

Dr Chu Ngoc Anh, SATI’s director said: "Many countries have set strict regulations and industry requirements for monitoring of the food transportation process and traceability of the origin of the food. The application of advanced technology such as RFID and traceability solutions can help Vietnamese seafood producers meet international industry standards and increasingly strict technical requirements. This will help increase the quality and productivity of the industry, and enhance the value of our exports​."

Advanced traceability solutions can help boost the quality and prestige of Vietnamese seafood industry, added Dr Chu.

IBM, SATI and VASEP staged a seminar last week in Can Tho city, Vietnam, to introduce seafood traceability systems using IT and RFID technology.

Traceability technologies from IBM and FXA Group will be tested at selected Vietnamese farms which export seafood to retailers in Japan, the US and Europe. The organisations will be able to collect data about each batch of shrimp and other seafood including which farm it came from, where it was processed, its current location, temperature, and other relevant data.


IBM technology will make that information accessible throughout the supply chain including wholesalers, shippers, and retailers.

Nguyen Hoai Nam, VASEP's deputy general secretary said: "We are confident the new technology will help us achieve the goal of meeting the highest seafood industry standards​. There is a proven record of some seafood processing and exporting companies in Thailand benefiting from the technology. In the future, we want to have many more seafood companies to use the technology to boost the quality of their seafood products in Vietnam​."

Vietnam is among the world's top 10 largest seafood exporters. VASEP’s members account for 80 per cent of the country's total seafood export revenue.

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