In many countries, eco agriculture and Fair Trade are emerging as a promising agricultural development strategy, particularly in economic plans such as the national socio-economic development lagging areas away from the Mekong corridor. The newly signed EVFTA (European Union Vietnam Free Trade Agreement) between the EU and Vietnam has a specific clause related to promoting eco-fair products; however, challenges persist. The barriers to a certified eco-fair supply chain in agri-food processing in Vietnam are threefold: firstly, the capacity of MSMEs on fair and eco development are still limited. Most MSMEs have no strategic plan for sustainable development, and there is limited capacity for producing and marketing eco-fair products, as well as accessing green technology, sustainable design, and green financing. Secondly, the awareness of MSMEs, consumer groups, civil society stakeholders, and the public sector is still limited. Thirdly, there is no existing cost-effective service provider to help consumers get access to eco-fair agri-food processing products from Vietnam.
The project addresses sustainable supply chain management with a focus on green trade and facilitating the integration of MSMEs into supply chains. It will support sustainable consumption and consumer awareness on SCP, and will build the capacity of eco-fair MSMEs, creating an enabling environment to strengthen the implementation of national SCP policies. More specifically, the project will:
- Enhance the capacity of MSMEs to implement sustainable production and product innovation practices in the agri-food supply chain;
- Raise awareness of a large consumer group about sustainable consumption behaviours and build a network to promote the eco-fair label;
- Use a sustainable E-platform to build an eco-fair retailer network;
- Enhance the capacity of eco-fair MSMEs to access financing;
- Support policy development on eco-fair production and consumption in Asia.
The Way Forward
- Effective outreach to a large number of MSMEs facilitated;
- Readiness of sustainable production on the supply chain enhanced through strategic transition toward circular economy, through increasing production capacity and marketing of sustainable consumption opportunities, specifically eco-fair labels;
- Effective outreach to large consumer groups (500,000) facilitated. Awareness raised among consumers on eco-fair labels and benefits of adopting sustainable consumption practices;
- Sustainable E-platform and eco-fair retailer network established to promote and replicate eco-fair practices towards producer MSMEs, consumers and civil society organisations in Vietnam, as well as trade associations and other export organisations to reach EU importers;
- Capacity of eco-fair MSMEs enhanced to increase their access to finance;
- Enabling environment created to strengthen the implementation of national eco-fair policies in Vietnam and to assist stakeholders in harvesting benefits of eco-fair consumption and production.
Relation to European Green Deal, Circular Economy and Climate Change
The project contributes to economic prosperity, the development of sustainable livelihoods and the transition towards a low-carbon, resource efficient and circular economy in Vietnam, through increasing production capacity and marketing of sustainable consumption opportunities, specifically eco-fair labels. Eco fair production follows sustainability requirements, product life-cycle and effective use of natural resources while the Fair Trade approach and standards ensure all matters related to social issues, promotion of gender equality and equal opportunities, no child labor and forced labor, non-discrimination, gender equity and women’s economic empowerment, fair payment, among others. By developing eco and fair trade business, the project will also help protect indigenous rights, human rights, gender and environmental issues of the producers and workers (majority of them female) to be respected and protected.