By the end of October 2018, the province has had 16 agricultural products being granted certificates of protection by the National Office of Intellectual Property of Vietnam (NOIP). In which, three product names are granted geographical indications; nine product names are granted certification marks (Olong Moc Chau tea, Moc Chau safe vegetables, Song Ma longan, Phu Yen orange and Son La hawthorn, Moc Chau avocado, Mai Son custard apple, Phong Lai Thuan Chau tea, Muong and Sop Cop glutinous rice); three product names are granted collective trademarks (Ta Xua Bac Yen Tea, Son La honey, Thuan Chau taro); other product name - Shan Tuyet Moc Chau tea is successfully registered to be protected in the Thai market.
With a population of over 1.2 million people, more than 80% of the province’s population is farmer, 78.2% of agricultural households is farmer member’s household, and the rate of poor households is high, accounting for 29.92%. Son La’s agriculture has developed, but its competitiveness is still low; the collaboration among farmers in agricultural production is not comprehensive, little efficient; production scale is small and fragmented; the accumulation of land for concentrated agricultural production areas is still limited; the application of scientific and technical advances in agricultural production faces many difficulties due to limited investment resources for agriculture, farmers and rural areas.
To overcome such challenges, the provincial Farmers’ Union has collaborated with related departments, industries to propose to the provincial Party committee to issue policies, resolutions which focus on agricultural development.
In particular, the provincial People's Council has issued many policies to support agricultural development. The Provincial People's Committee has concretized guidelines and resolutions of the Provincial Party Committee and People's Committee into specifice programs, projects and plans to support and promote agricultural development driven towards the concentration of production of goods, application of high technology, quality improvement, value addition, clean and safe agricultural production to meet domestic demands and export requirements.
Moreover, the provincial Party committee has also directed to promote the sale and export of local agricultural products which have high potential and advantages; especially focusing the direction on the speeding up the creation and development of brand names, trademarks, geographical indications for the main products of the province’s.
After 3 years of implementation, there have been initial achievements as following:
As mentioned above, Son La has got certificates of protection granted by the NOIP for 16 agricultural products bearing names of local places by end of October 2018; one product is granted offshore certificate of protection (Thailand) which is Shan Tuyet Moc Chau tea. This is the first agricultural product of the province’s which is sucessfully registered for protection in the foreign market.
At present, the province continues to develop brand names for 7 agricultural products including Yen Chau Son La banana, Son La passion fruit, Son La plum, Son La safe vegetables, Son La mango, Son La longan, Son La avocado.
And two particular products including Son La - Da river’s fish, Son La sturgeon will be announced for their trademarks in early 2019 in association with Quynh Nhai district’s festival.
Beside the branding of agricultural products, the development and advertisement of brands also play important part in promoting brand value, with the aim to gradually stabilize output for products.
In order to maintain and develop trademarks, the province has granted the right to use trademarks for 45 enterprises, cooperatives and 28 households which have products registered for protection, production and business in the locality and assigned to Farmers' Unions at district and city levels to participate in the management of brands and trademarks of agricultural products.
Basically, granted organizations and individuals comply to the regulations on the use and management of trademarks as well as have initially made improvements including markets expanded, income of farmers increased, people insured to invest and develop production. Typical models are Natural safe vegetable cooperative in Moc Chau district; longan growing and trading cooperatives in Song Ma district; production and trading enterprises of Moc Chau tea, Son La coffee ...
The development and promotion of branded products have received following support from by related departments, industries, people's committees of districts and cities, organizations and individuals: Investment in renovation, improvement of seed quality; application of scientific and technological advances in production, harvesting, processing and preservation so as to improve product value, increase competitiveness in the market; supporting cooperatives to involve in safe agricultural production and consumption chains; supporting the application of high technology in agricultural production; supporting the preliminary treatment and processing of products..., supporting the application of good agricultural production process complying with VietGap and GlobalGap standards or equivalent standards.
The province has directed to implement programs in investment promotion, trade promotion, tourism promotion in and outside the province. Enterprises and cooperatives have always been facilitated by the province’s administration to participate in many investment promotion conferences, trade and tourism promotion fairs; exhibitions to introduce and promote safe agricultural product chains of Son La province to other provinces; to introduce and promote safe agricultural products in markets and fairs in and outside the province.
The Farmers' Union at all levels in the province determine building brands of local agricultural products as a key political task in the Unions’ activities and the farmers' movements. Since then, all levels of FU have actively participated in the campaign to propagate, mobilize and guide farmers to implement, changing the awareness and actions of members and farmers in production, business and processing of agricultural products, ensure food safety, pay attention to the development and protection of brands and trademarks to enhance agricultural products.