|OCOP product owners introduce products, safe production and processing processes to customers via livestream. Photo: VNA|
Confident with the OCOP brand
According to Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Affairs Tran Thanh Nam, up to now, the country has had 9,160 OCOP products from 4,704 OCOP producers, of which 1,818 cooperatives (accounting for 38.6%), 1,194 enterprises. The remaining 1,563 production facilities (accounting for 33.2%) and cooperative groups.
Of which 65.5% are 3-star products and only 0.2% are 5-star products. Instead of producing raw products, many businesses and cooperatives have recently turned to green, clean and even refined products to catch up with consumer trends, thereby creating export power for the brand.
As of March 2023, Hanoi has 1,649 OCOP products. In which, there are four 5-star products, two 5-star potential products have been evaluated by the Central Government, 11 5-star potential products have been submitted to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development for consideration and classification; remaining 1,098 4-star OCOP products and 534 3-star products.
Acting Director of Hanoi Department of Industry and Trade Tran Thi Phuong Lan said that every year, Hanoi Department of Industry and Trade regularly cooperates with districts, towns to open points to introduce and sell OCOP products in the whole city. The units that manage and operate OCOP points in the city have also prioritized connecting, introducing and promoting OCOP products not only of districts, towns in Hanoi but also in expanding connections with localities across the country. Many OCOP products have been connected to over 80 points of sale of OCOP products in Hanoi and promoted on 600 e-commerce websites to boost exports.
It can be said that the OCOP program not only helps businesses, cooperatives, and production facilities build strong brands, create more jobs, increase incomes, and develop economies for localities, but It also makes an important contribution to preserving and promoting the cultural identity in each specific product group of each locality. The OCOP program has also created healthy competition among producers, encouraged the participation of the community, exploited, maintained and promoted the potential values of professions, craft villages and craft traditional villages and regional specialties; Created a rich source of products, ensuring quality.
Understanding the market is a “survival” factor
More and more 5-star OCOP products are better quality, diversified in design and more closely linked with market demand, especially products that exploit local strengths for tourism development in rural areas. Thanks to the evaluation and ratings, many OCOP products have found their way to export to many difficult markets. Mr. Le Van Tam, Director of Song Hong Agricultural Cooperative, said that the cooperative’s OCOP product, ECOS fruit and vegetable straws, was only 3 stars initially and was unknown to many consumers. But since striving to build a 4-star product and reach the 5-star threshold, there have been many interested partners, including many partners from the UK, France, Germany, USA, Japan, Korea. Recently, the cooperative signed a contract with a German partner to supply 500,000-1,000,000 straws/month.
As a locality with a traditional product of vermicelli, Bac Kan province has spent a lot of resources to support Tai Hoan Cooperative to complete the processing plant. In particular, to position the brand for the product, vermicelli of Tai Hoan Cooperative has been certified as the only product of Bac Kan that has achieved the national 5-star OCOP certification. After many efforts, vermicelli products of Tai Hoan Cooperative have passed the strictest standards and are recognized to be eligible for export to Europe.
Director of Tai Hoan vermicelli Cooperative Nguyen Thi Hoan said that it took more than three months from starting to implement until meeting all the procedures and conditions to export vermicelli products to the European market and must pass rigorous quality control rounds. The processing capacity of Tai Hoan Cooperative is 1-2 tons of vermicelli/day.
Although there are very good products with export potential, according to Deputy Minister Tran Thanh Nam, OCOP subjects need to pay more attention to the raw material area; because the products are all local specialties, they must be protected to meet national and export criteria. The most important issue is that businesses must actively and proactively search for markets, innovate and create connection methods in the direction of multi-channels, chains, and apply technology to shorten the time and geographical distances between producer and consumer.
Proposing some support to help OCOP products quickly enter the world market, Mr. Le Si Dien, Director of the Cooperative Agriculture, Forestry and Comprehensive Services said that our products are in the group of medicinal herbs which is very popular in China, Japan, and Korea because it is clean, organic, does not use preservatives and colorants.
Chinese people especially love medicinal products. “Previously, the cooperative’s goods were only exported through the quota, now the cooperative tries to build a more sustainable brand for official export. Accordingly, continue to improve packaging, designs, labels, and calculations on how to preserve. In addition, we continue to improve more convenient products, such as filter bags, to make it easier to reach more markets. In the future, we want the government to support access to export markets, capture information on consumer tastes, and update new export regulations and standards because understanding the market is an important factor for an enterprise that wants to export,” said Mr. Le Si Dien.