New goods verification website to benefit both consumers and brand owners
On February 18 2014 the Vietnam Government Portal, in co-operation with the National Institute for Food Control and Vnet Joint Stock Company, officially launched a website named “Foodstuff and Consumption”. The website is believed to bring great benefits to consumers in that it is a trustworthy source of official information and guidance about food products, and allows consumers to verify a product’s origin, authentication and quality standards by using a goods verification system named V-True.
Under the coding system, food products that have a clear origin and meet certain quality standards will be stamped with authentication codes before reaching the market. Consumers can scratch off the coating of the authentication stamp to obtain a code of 6 or 7 characters, which they can then use to conduct a search on the website or make direct enquiries to a call centre or SMS centre. By doing so, consumers will be provided with detailed information about the food product at issue, such as the name of the manufacturer or importing agency, the quality standard and the food hygiene certificate, to ensure that the product is authentic and fit for consumption. The website has been warmly welcomed by Vietnamese consumers, especially as the issue of counterfeit food products is becoming an increasing concern in the country.
The website also benefits brand owners, in that it can be an effective channel to identify and combat counterfeit goods. The fight against counterfeiting has become a burning issue among Vietnamese manufacturers and trademark owners, as counterfeiting can cause serious damage to the reputation of brand owners and reduce consumer confidence.
It is hoped that, in the near future, the website’s scope will be expanded to cover a wider range of goods in order to:
- better protect genuine goods against counterfeiting;
- raise awareness about food safety and hygiene; and
- protect the rights of consumers and producers.
Son Doan, IPMAX Law Firm, Hanoi
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