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MEKOSTAR

Rau Quả An Toàn Chuẩn Quốc Tế

Rau Quả An Toàn Chuẩn Quốc Tế

Quality Assurance –
Can Tho

At Mekostar we work to provide our customers with the highest quality fruits and vegetables available in Vietnam. Our certifications are one way in which we can demonstrate this commitment you. It is not always easy to understand what these certifications mean or how they are applied, so click on any of the icons below to learn more about the certifications that apply in our value chain.

Certifications are location specific, some going all the way back to the farm, so not all certifications apply to all products. On the product information page, you can find the specific certifications that apply to each product that we offer.

Our Certifications

GLOBALG.A.P.

GLOBALG.A.P. is a private sector body that sets voluntary standards for agricultural product certification around the world. It is the standard for fruit and vegetable production applied across the EU and around the world.  The GLOBALG.A.P. standard reassures consumers by setting clear rules on farm management. Focal points include, reducing the use of chemical inputs, minimizing detrimental environment impacts of farming operations and ensuring a responsible approach to worker health and safety, as well as animal welfare.  Certification is renewed once per year.

Background:
GLOBALG.A.P. was formerly known as EurepGAP. This organization was launched as a retailers’ initiative rooted in the Euro-Retailer Produce Working Group (EUREP). Its starting point was an effort to develop standards and procedures for the development of Good Agricultural Practice (G.A.P) in conventional agriculture, specifically in highlighting the importance of integrated crop management and a responsible approach to worker welfare.

Who is it relevant to?
GLOBALG.A.P. is a pre-farm gate standard, meaning it covers all aspects of growing, from the inputs farmers use (seedlings, fertilizers, feed, etc.) through to harvesting and until the moment the product leaves the farm.  The standard uses 218 control points to ensure that fruit and vegetable production complies with the standard.

EU Organic

Organic farming is an agricultural method that aims to produce food using natural substances and processes. This means that organic farming tends to have a limited environmental impact as it encourages: responsible use of energy and natural resources; maintenance of biodiversity; preservation of regional ecological balances; enhancement of soil fertility; and maintenance of water quality.

The EU maintains a strict system of control and enforcement to guarantee that organics rules and regulations are respected, both in and out of Europe.  Only producers, traders, distributors or marketers that comply with this system are allowed to use the logo of EU organic and to trade in organic products.  All certified parties are checked at least once a year to make sure that they continue to comply with the system.

Background:

Witnessing the explosion of organic food in Europe in the mid-80s, the European Commission put in place control measures so that consumers would have confidence that the rules of organic farming are being followed. Since 1991 organic farming and production has been regulated and rules are continuously updated to ensure that EU organic stands for fair, environmentally conscious, healthy and caring food and farming systems.

Who is it relevant to?

Outside of Europe, EU Organic covers the farmer and the trader.  It starts at the farm with the inputs (seedlings, fertilizers, feed, etc.) farmers use to grow the final product and covers all aspects of production until the moment the product leaves the farm.  From the farm, Mekostar’s organic products remain in the control of organic certified parties until The Fruit Republic sells them to a wholesaler, retailer or other food business.  Documents accompany the product along this path so that it is fully traceable at all times.

Hazard Analysis & Critical Control Point (HACCP)

Hazard Analysis & Critical Control Point (HACCP) is an internationally recognized system for reducing the risk of safety hazards in foods. A HACCP System requires companies to identify and control potential hazards at specific points in all food related processes.  These include any food hazards, whether microbiological, chemical or physical, that could pose a threat to the production of safe food – in simple terms, it involves identifying what could go wrong in a food system and planning how to prevent it.

Background:
In the 1960s, HACCP was first designed in a collaboration between the Pillsbury Corporation and NASA to ensure food safety for the first manned space missions. After several food safety scandals occurred in the 1970s, HACCP was quickly adopted by companies wishing to ensure good manufacturing processes in the production of safe food and has since expanded to all realms of the food industry and beyond.

Who is it relevant to?
Proactive food businesses (manufacturers, processors, distributors, etc.) will apply for HACCP certification to ensure that all possible food safety risks are covered.  In some countries, it is also mandatory or a legal requirement that a food business has a certified HACCP system in place, though this is not the case in Vietnam.

British Retail Consortium (BRC)

BRC Global Standards is a leading safety and quality certification program, used by over 23,000 certificated suppliers in over 130 countries, with certification issued through a worldwide network of accredited certification bodies. This standard provides a framework to manage product safety, integrity, legality and quality.  It focuses on the development of a culture of product safety, environmental monitoring, and the creating systems for food security and defense in order to protect consumers. 

Background:

The BRC Global Standard for Food Safety was developed by the British Retail consortium in 1998. Over time it evolved into a global standard used, not just to assess retail suppliers, but as the foundation upon which companies have based their supplier assessment programs in order to ensure safe and quality food production.

Who is it relevant to?

The BRC Global Standards are relevant to food and ingredient manufacturers, wholesalers and distributors. The BRC Global Standard deals with food, packaging, storage and distribution.

GRASP

GLOBALG.A.P. Risk Assessment on Social Practice (GRASP) is the social standard of GLOBALG.A.P. and has been developed to ensure that social practices on the farm, which address specific aspects of workers’ health, safety and welfare, are well met.  It is a voluntary certification designed to complement GLOBALG.A.P. Certification.  Producers can use GRASP to develop a system for good social management that assures buyers the safety, health and welfare of the people that produce the food is as well respected as the food they are growing.

Background:

The GRASP add-on to GLOBALG.A.P. certification was developed in response to the growing interest in by businesses to responsibly manage their global supply chains as a key component of their corporate social responsibility efforts.  To do this chain members need to demonstrate that their agricultural products are produced in a way that respects internationally agreed labor requirements as well as relevant legislation.

Who is it relevant to?

Like GLOBALG.A.P., GRASP is applied at farm level to every employee on the farm, permanent employees, seasonal workers, and day laborers.  It is also applied at the level of the packhouses.

 

The Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI), Sedex and SMETA

The Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI), the Supplier Ethical Data Exchange (Sedex) and the Sedex Members Ethical Trade Audit (SMETA) are interrelated organizations and systems that focus on respect for worker’s rights and improving the working conditions of people who make the products that consumers purchase.

ETI companies have adopted the ETI Base Code of labour practice which sets out standards that are based on those of the International Labour Organization (ILO) and that ensure best practices in ethical trade.  Sedex members use a methodology based on the ETI Base Code and apply it within their supply chains through SMETA audits performed on an annual basis.  Audit results are visible in the Sedex database so that members across the chain can understand how their supply chain manages workers’ rights and working conditions.

Background:

The ETI was found in 1998 by a small group of visionaries who wanted to protect workers’ rights in global supply chains by defining how major companies should implement their labor codes in a credible way with maximum impact on workers. 

Who is it relevant to?

The principles of the ETI Base Code are applied across the chain.  For instance, in order to sell to major European retailers, The Fruit Republic (owner of the Mekostar brand) must demonstrate that their labour practices and those of their suppliers are aligned with these principles.

VIETGAP

VietGAP is a farm assurance program, translating consumer requirements into Vietnamese Good Agricultural Practices. It is designed to help implement and maintain good agricultural production practices for agricultural and fishery products in Vietnam and is seen as a steppingstone for farmers wishing to export as it is aligned with ASEAN’s common GAP standards for member countries. VietGAP sets out the principles for all process relating to the production of agricultural products to ensure productive technique; food safety; product traceability; protection of environment and health.

Background:
The VietGAP standards published by Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, were set up in 2008 to pursue continuous improvement in productions methods to produce clean & safe products, especially fresh fruit and vegetable.

Who is it relevant to?  
VietGAP (Vietnamese Good Agricultural Practices) covers aspects of growing from the inputs farmers use (seedlings, fertilizers, feed, etc.) through to harvesting and until the moment the product leaves the farm. It also covers the process of packing and storing agricultural products, especially fresh fruit and vegetable.

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Hydroponic systems​

Hydroponic farming means that crops are grown in nutrient-rich solutions with substrates, rather than soil. When growing in soil, plants use valuable energy developing elaborate root systems to seek out nutrients and water. Hydroponics brings the nutrients directly to the plant – in the right quantity at the right time. This means that plants can focus their energy on growing fruits, resulting in better quality and faster growing rates. Hydroponic farming also reduces the water needed to grow a crop by as much as 80%, so it is good for the consumer and the environment.

Organic farming​

Organic farming relies on natural methods, such as using natural enemies to control pests in a sustainable way. These natural solutions include a combination of beneficial insects, fungi and organic compost that replace agro-chemicals to control diseases and insects that are harmful to plants. So, they are good for the plant, the environment, and you.

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Automatic root watering technology ​

Automatic root watering technology delivers water straight to the root, so plants grown in soil do not need to waste energy searching for moisture but can focus on growth. The root watering systems also allow for nutrients to be delivered directly to the root zone. The system operates more efficiently than conventional fertilizer application since the nutrient delivery and uptake can be carefully measured and controlled, reducing the chance of over- fertilization.

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Variety testing​

The controlled conditions of our greenhouses also allow us to conduct variety testing. In these tests new vegetable varieties can be tested to determine optimum growing conditions and to assess their performance against existing varieties – for example we compare yields, shelf-life and taste. Through these tests we can improve the performance of our farms, while also providing valuable insights to our contract farmers, sharing growing protocols and varieties that bring fresher, tastier food to you.

Insect trap systems ​

Insect trap systems are used to eliminate or prevent pests. On our farms, we apply two insect trap systems, sticky color traps and pheromone traps to optimize pest prevention and increase quality and food safety for our vegetables. Our traps use attractive colors and smells to lure the insects to a glue mixture that traps the insect and prevents it from attacking the plants.

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Bio controls​

Ensuring the quality and food safety of products is a priority on our farms. So we use bio controls, natural solutions, to solve problems related to pests and diseases. These natural solutions include a combination of beneficial insects, fungi and organic soils that can replace chemical pesticides to control diseases and insects that are harmful to plants. Our bio controls are good for the plant, the environment, and you.

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Greenhouses

Greenhouses are one of the most advanced technologies currently applied in high-tech agriculture. The greenhouse is designed to extend the growing season by controlling the environment, whether it be the growing temperature or the amount of water that crops receive. Sensors linked to the roof of our greenhouses help to achieve this by measuring the temperature and humidity conditions and then adjusting the roof panels to allow in more or less air. In addition, because the greenhouse is a closed system, the chance of being affected by pests and diseases is reduced. At the same time the closed system can keep beneficial insects indoors. Reducing unwanted pests and trapping beneficial ones results in healthier plants, which in turn means that less chemicals are needed. In addition, our greenhouse roofs are covered with a special film that helps amplify indoor light and scatter it uniformly so that plants mature at the same time. Moreover, this also prevents harmful UV rays from reaching the plant and stops the formation of condensation, further limiting diseases.