Vietnam Sustainable Shrimp Alliance Announced

Groundbreaking regional approach will drive sustainability improvements throughout Vietnam’s leading shrimp-producing province

Oct 22, 2019

Categories:
Seafood Watch

The Ca Mau People’s Committee, Vietnam Private Sector Development Committee, Monterey Bay Aquarium and the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace announced the formation of the Vietnam Sustainable Shrimp Alliance, a public-private partnership with 21 founding companies to improve the environmental sustainability of the shrimp aquaculture sector and support livelihoods in Cà Mau Province, Vietnam. 

“Shrimp is the lifeblood of Cà Mau and southern Vietnam,” said Mr. Le Van Su, Vice Chairman of Cà Mau Provincial People’s Committee. “Forming this Alliance is the first step to shift shrimp production and economic development toward long-term sustainability. This is critical to secure the livelihoods of hundreds of thousands of people in the province.” 

This new public-private partnership will improve shrimp production in Cà Mau Province to achieve a level of environmental performance equivalent to a Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch program yellow Good Alternative or green Best Choice by 2030. 

“The Monterey Bay Aquarium is proud to support this public-private partnership and utilize our standards and new approaches to overcome persistent challenges in small-scale shrimp farming in Vietnam,” said Aquarium Vice President of Global Ocean Initiatives Jennifer Dianto Kemmerly. 

Alliance members commit to achieve international standards for shrimp quality, prohibit the use of antibiotics, ensure traceability and demonstrate social responsibility through codes of conduct and transparent contracts. Private-sector Alliance members also committed an initial contribution of USD $270,000 to formalize the partnership and support collaboration and improvement projects. 

“This Alliance comprises the major players in Cà Mau Province, the government and several global companies involved in the seafood supply chain,” said Mr. Nguyen Duc Tung, General Director of the Private Sector Development Office, an advisory board that reports to Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc. “Their commitment to meet international standards will build a foundation for a more equitable and transparent industry. If successful, it could be the turning point for Vietnam’s entire shrimp sector.”

Over the last year, industry, governments and NGOs recognized the need to address unanswered challenges in large segments of the aquaculture industry, particularly among small-scale farmers. A diverse group of experts developed a new approach, the Partnership Assurance Model, that brings together local stakeholders to design, implement and verify improvements. The model acknowledges the day-to-day reality of farms and the need for a solution that provides value to all parties. The Vietnam Sustainable Shrimp Alliance builds upon the Partnership Assurance Model and includes companies representing the entire supply chain, as well as the government and NGO advisors. It will implement technological solutions and guide strategic improvements throughout Cà Mau Province, in support of the government’s National Action Plan and the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals.

“This commitment delivers on the promise of the Our Ocean Conference,” said Former U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry. “It brings together all of the stakeholders to address critical challenges in small-scale aquaculture. This regional approach is novel, innovative and desperately needed. I believe it will serve as a model for the rest of the world to accelerate improvements toward a sustainable blue economy.”

Building towards a sustainable alliance

Vietnam is one of the world’s largest shrimp producers, and Cà Mau has the highest shrimp production of any province in the country, accounting for 40% of Vietnam’s total production (nearly 160,000 MT of shrimp per year, including several species and production types) on approximately 280,000 hectares in the Mekong Delta region. Farmed shrimp is a mainstay of the province’s economy, with export value of USD $1 billion per year. The industry provides employment for 50% of Cà Mau’s population, with 300,000 people directly employed in the shrimp industry. 

Small-scale farms, many independently owned and operated, make up a majority of the production in Cà Mau Province, located at the southern tip of Vietnam, on the Gulf of Thailand and the South China Sea. In order to address the needs of small-scale operators, the Alliance is utilizing the Partnership Assurance Model to build a value chain that aligns market opportunities, environmental sustainability, social responsibility and development goals. The Alliance will engage key stakeholders, including technical advisors, end buyers, technology firms, banks and insurance companies to build an inclusive and transparent value chain.

In 2018, Minh Phu Seafood Corporation, Monterey Bay Aquarium, SGS and the Asian Seafood Improvement Collaborative announced a major new commitment to bring 20,000 small-scale shrimp farms in the Mekong Delta, Vietnam, to a level equivalent to the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch program’s green Best Choice rating by 2025. The commitment brought together private-sector and NGO collaborators to address challenges for smallholder shrimp farmers that make up much of the production in the Mekong Delta, including working with the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace to improve governance and advance comprehensive approaches for sustainable development. 

Alliance members (as of 30 September 2019) include the following:

  • Shrimp Farming Organizations: Tan Hung High Quality Shrimp Cooperative, Cau Bat Cooperative, Doan Ket Cooperative, Tan Long Coop, Hung My Cooperative, Shrimp Farming Cooperative (Nhung Mien)
  • Shrimp processors and exporters: Minh Phu Seafood Corporation, Camimex Group, Thanh Doan Seafood Import and Export Joint Stock Company, Minh Cuong Seafood Import and Export Joint Stock Company
  • Input Suppliers: Cargill, Vemidin Medicine and Biological Preparation Company, Viet UC Seafood Corporation, Red-legged Prawn Breeding Joint Stock Company (Su Chan Do), Tan Hoang Anh Seafood Company Limited, Grobest Holdings, Charoen Pokphand Foods (CP Foods) Vietnam
  • Scientific Organizations: Nam Song Hau Seafood Research Department, Agriculture Extension Center
  • Certification Evaluation Organizations: Bureauveritas, Quacert
  • Credit Institutions and Banks: Phuong Dong Joint Stock Commercial Bank – Ca Mau Branch, Kien Long Joint Stock Commercial Bank – Cà MauBranch
  • Stakeholder Organizations and Technical Advisors: Cà Mau Provincial People’s Committee, Private Sector Development Committee, Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch, SNV, ICAFIS, MCD and IDH

About the Vietnam Private Sector Development Committee
The Private Sector Development Committee (PSDC) was established by decision of the Prime Minister as part of the Advisory Council of Administrative Procedures Reform - a joint public private committee in the Office of the Government that advises the PM on economic reforms. The PSDC builds partnerships with the government and leverages technology to transform Vietnam economy and promote private sector development. The PSDC is funded by the private sector and works closely with the Office of the Government, ministries and local governments. It is the organizer of the Vietnam Economic Forum and launched the Administrative Procedure Compliance Cost Index in 2018 to measure the compliance cost and user experience of a number of administrative procedures.

About the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
The Carnegie Endowment advances international peace by leveraging its global network to shape debates and provide decision makers with independent insights and innovative ideas on the most consequential global threats and opportunities. We have a global network of policy research centers in Russia, China, Europe, the Middle East, India, and the United States. For more information, visit www.carnegieendowment.org

About Monterey Bay Aquarium
The Monterey Bay Aquarium is a non-profit, 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization whose mission is to inspire conservation of the ocean. The Monterey Bay Aquarium is the most admired aquarium in the United States, a leader in science education and a voice for ocean conservation through comprehensive programs in marine science and public policy. The Aquarium’s Seafood Watch program is part of a comprehensive initiative to improve the sustainability of global fisheries and aquaculture, through policy leadership, scientific research, industry partnerships and consumer engagement. Everything we do works in concert to protect the future of our blue planet. More information at montereybayaquarium.org and at seafoodwatch.org.

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The mission of the nonprofit Monterey Bay Aquarium is to inspire conservation of the ocean.