Nguyen Minh Toai, director of Can Tho City’s Department of Industry and Trade, said his department made a lot of effort to connect producers and distributors of such produce with local hotels and restaurants, but to little effect.

At a meeting held on Thursday in HCM City, he said in many cases hotels and restaurants buy goods from large manufacturers and suppliers several times to get sale contracts and certificates of origin and quality and then buy fraudulently from traditional markets at lower prices.

Pham Khanh Phong Lan, head of the HCM City Food Safety Management Board, said this unethical behaviour was quite common.

Her officials had to use various measures to track the origin and quality of products when they inspect hotels and restaurants, she said.

Nguyen Thi Anh Hoa, deputy director of the city Department of Tourism, said there were 4,000 lodging facilities serving tourists, including nearly 150 three- to five-star hotels and thousands of restaurants and eateries.

“The demand for high-quality and safe agricultural produce and local specialities is huge.

“Government agencies need to strengthen oversight of safety and quality at hotels and restaurants to ensure high-quality products can access this market.

“Producers and suppliers need to establish close co-operation with hotels and restaurants and expand their sales to them.”

Nguyen Huynh Trang, deputy director of the city Department of Industry and Trade, said an agreement was signed last year by her department, the Department of Tourism and the Food Safety Management Board to promote the consumption of high-quality and safe products at city hotels and restaurants.

“The agreement also expected to strengthen supervision and impose strict fines for violations.

“But owners of hotels and restaurants have a vital responsibility in providing safe products to users.”

The Department of Tourism has issued certificates to 150 restaurants and eateries and 76 shopping stores whose standards are good enough to serve tourists. — VNS

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