Food processing firms map out plans to restore production


HCM CITY — Food processing firms in HCM City have mapped out plans to gradually restore production when the city relaxes social distancing regulations in the near future, according to the Food and Foodstuff Association of HCM City.

The association noted that a recent shortage of some processed food products was an unavoidable situation because firms have faced difficulties acquiring raw materials and have had to deal with transport congestion. 

HCM City and 19 other cities and provinces in the south have been strengthening social distancing to contain COVID-19.

The association said difficulties faced by enterprises affect entire supply chains, not just one stage, one division or one factory.

Social distancing restrictions have affected the harvesting of crops and disrupted the supply of raw materials for food and food production from other cities and provinces to HCM City. Transportation and circulation of goods have also been affected.

The terminal manufacturers have had to reduce production capacity by at least 50 per cent because they have been operating the "3 on-site" model as prescribed by authorities.

"Any enterprise that can produce wants to run at full capacity, organise overtime work and try to keep prices stable," said Lý Kim Chi, the association’s chairwoman.

Many enterprises, however, have been forced to cut production on several items to focus on key products with good revenue to maintain operations in the current situation. Some enterprises reduced product codes from above 100 to just more than 10 to optimise productivity and output as well as meet orders from distributors.

Bùi Phương Mai, chairwoman of VIFON, said although the company’s output of its key products had increased many times compared to before, its total output fell by 50 per cent.

Last week, the company started to implement the "one road, two destinations" measure, which is expected to help the company to improve production capacity.

Chi said enterprises are currently developing scenarios to gradually restore production capacity when the city relaxes social distancing regulations in the coming time.

"In order to gradually increase the production rate, it is necessary to stop the three-on-site requirement, and all workers must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. In addition, material supplies must be ensured.”

If provinces and cities do not encourage farmers to grow new crops, then the possibility of not having enough input materials for food processing firms will be very high, and prices will surge.

She said better coordination is needed between ministries, localities, enterprises, agricultural production cooperatives and farmers in preparing for production recovery. — VNS

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