Visitors at a rice exhibition held in An Giang Province

The organizer of the third Vietnam Rice Festival taking place in the Mekong Delta province of Long An from December 18 to 24 noted that the event was aimed at supporting Vietnamese rice producers and traders in boosting trade and investment, as well as ensuring sustainable development and cementing the position of Vietnamese rice in the global market.

This is the first time Vietnam has announced the national rice trademark since the country entered the global rice market in 1989.

To build the rice trademark, the ministry had earlier hosted a rice logo design contest.

Earlier, Le Thanh Tung, head of the southern representative office of the ministry’s Department of Crop Production, told The Saigon Times that Vietnam had completed procedures to seek international protection for its rice trademark.

Accordingly, to have the rice trademark protected, Vietnam filed an application with the Madrid System, a system for the registration of worldwide trademarks governed by the Madrid Agreement and the Protocol relating to the agreement. A single application with the system enables a trademark owner to obtain protection in all member nations.

Tung remarked that the ministry had also formulated regulations concerning the use of the Vietnamese rice trademark, requiring individuals and organizations to meet particular criteria to use the trademark.

In particular, Decision 1499/QD-BNN-CBTTNS 2018 stipulates individuals and organizations can use the certified trademark when granted business registration certificates or investment certificates that include rice production, processing and trading.

Individuals and organizations must be certified to satisfy food-safety requirements for rice processing, preservation and trading, or they must obtain one of the following certificates: good manufacturing practices, hazard analysis and critical control points, food safety management system ISO 22000, international food standards, global standards for food safety, food safety system FSSC 22000 or equivalents that are still valid.

Further, they must have rice products that are certified to meet Vietnamese standards, fulfill tax obligations and boost environmental protection activities.

Rice products that have been certified include white rice, jasmine white rice and glutinous white rice.

Regarding product quality, rice bearing the Vietnamese rice trademark must meet national quality standards, with white rice meeting TCVN 11888:2017 requirements, jasmine white rice meeting TCVN 11889:2017 requirements and glutinous white rice meeting TCVN 8368:2010 requirements. If there is a change to quality standards, rice products must comply with the updated standards.

Under the ministry’s Decision 1499, individuals and organizations have the right to use the rice trademark and their own brands for packaging, advertising and trading certified rice products. They can also exploit, use and enjoy other economic benefits from the trademark and participate in rice trademark promotion activities.

However, individuals and organizations are obliged to use the trademark only on certified rice products, to ensure product quality, to inform the trademark management unit if they no longer need to use the trademark and to pay any related fees.