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Craft villages catch up with market economy


Still the same skill, the same product, but due to being passive in front of the market, many craft villages fell into ups and downs, even being "erased". The success of the craft village with the traditional product of Hong Tien fish sauce (Hong Tien commune, Kien Xuong district) suggests many things for other craft villages to study to get a way for sustainable development in the current mechanism of market economy.



Hong Tien fish sauce products are more and more known and trusted by consumers. Documentary photos

Hong Tien fish sauce is a local traditional product more than 300 years ago. With the geographical characteristics of the area near the sea mouth, in the brackish water environment, the fish is fatty and high in protein, plus the technique of keeping salt-mixed fish is very unique, giving Hong Tien fish sauce a fragrant, delicious and nutritious taste. However, people's fish sauce is made on a small scale, just to serve the needs of the family and people in the commune, few people know about it; Because of that, they have a job in hand, but their lives do not depend on the profession.

However, from 2018 up to now, households engaged in the production of fish paste in Hong Tien are very excited, secure in their attachment and have a better life from the profession after the locality started building a brand and registering a collective trademark. 

Mr. Tran Van Kiem, Director of Hong Tien Seafood Production and Business Cooperative said: The branding for Hong Tien fish sauce not only promotes the specialty brand of a countryside but also changes the people’s way of thinking and doing to preserve and develop the profession for a long time. Instead of people exploiting fish indiscriminately, making full use of it, and exterminating it, people now know how to protect the natural environment for the fish to breed. People only catch fish of all sizes, reaching 150 heads/kg, do not harvest baby fish or egged fish. Aquatic resources are protected, and the harvest output of local people has also increased gradually. With the same area of ​​93.5ha in the alluvial lagoon along the Red River, people can only exploit about 50 tons of fish each year, up to now, the output has reached more than 200 tons. More abundant raw materials help people make Hong Tien fish sauce to expand and develop their profession.

With a brand, the cooperative and its members pay more attention in the production stages to ensure food hygiene and safety and innovate product specifications to attract consumers. Currently, Hong Tien fish sauce products have two types: clear fish sauce and opaque fish sauce, stored in glass bottles or plastic bottles with a volume of 300ml - 1 liter. All products are labeled with full information about origin and quality and have barcodes of origin and product prices. In particular, Hong Tien Seafood Production and Service Cooperative is supported by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development with a QR Code stamp printer to help consumers easily distinguish real and fake goods and fully grasp information about products from the history of the craft village, production process, production date, quality inspection and evaluation... This is the reason why Hong Tien crab fish sauce is increasingly trusted by consumers. 

Ms. Hoang Thi Sen from Nam Tien village said: "Crab fish sauce in my hometown is now consumed all over the South and outside the North. In the past, they made 50 liters and didn't know who to sell, but now the family produces 400 liters each year, still not enough to meet the market demand.

Not waiting for customers, Hong Tien Seafood Service Production Cooperative actively brings the products of the craft village to reach and conquer consumers. The cooperative actively participates in displaying and introducing products at fairs; promote and sell online on the website of the cooperative and the provincial e-commerce floor. The cooperative organizes trade promotion through approaching, negotiating and selling consignment products with stores in areas where many people in Thai Binh and the Red River Delta. 

Mr. Tran Van Kiem, Director of the cooperative added: Implementing the plan to build the cooperative into a "digital business" model, we have invested in infrastructure and human resources to serve online business (online sales). ); All product information is encrypted so that consumers can easily access and look up on today's digital technology platform.

Hong Tien commune currently has 40 households engaged in the production of fish sauce, with an output of nearly 200,000 liters per year, valued at nearly VND 40 billion, with an average annual growth of about 30%. Recently, Hong Tien fish sauce product was evaluated, ranked and granted a star certificate by the Provincial People's Committee of Thai Binh province's OCOP program in 2020. This is an opportunity for Hong Tien fish sauce brand to spread widely. Traditionally, the traditional fish-making profession of the people here is growing more and more in the coming years.

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