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Sunday, September 26, 2021

Viet Uc Seafood Corporation: 20-year journey for a sustainable high-tech shrimp industry

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Since 2001, when the seafood industry in general, and Vietnam’s shrimp industry in particular, was still quite disintegrated and resembling underdeveloped agricultural practice, Viet Uc Seafood Corporation has soon claimed that “technology-driven sustainability” is a challenging but inevitable destination of the future, not only for shrimp in Vietnam but also all over the world at large.

On the journey of the past 20 years, technology has always played an important role in each segment, actively contributing to the shrimp value chain to create a farm-to-folk cycle. As such, today Viet Uc Seafood Corporation is considered a pioneer that initiated the path “For a Sustainable High-Tech Vietnamese Shrimp Industry”.

In Vietnam many years ago, although shrimp was one of the key export revenue earners, the source of broodstock was obviously dependent on imported parent shrimp. Importantly, the quality of the stocks is a prerequisite for the success of a farming season.

Realizing that this is a huge risk for the input of the whole industry, in 2010, Viet Uc Seafood Corporation was the first and now still the only company to breed parent shrimp in Vietnam through a joint research program with CSIRO, a research organization under Australia’s National Science and Technology Research Agency. Since then, a source of quality shrimp broodstock for Vietnam has replaced imported products thanks to the application of the latest technology in aquaculture genetics such as molecular genetic and quantitative genetics.

Given this initiative, we are completely in control of the shrimp broodstock quality, eliminating concerns about risks from the supply of imported broodstock. This brings about two major benefits to the shrimp industry:

– Firstly, Vietnam proudly became one of the few superpowers that can actively acquire local parent shrimp on the spot, including the U.S., Singapore, Thailand, etc. This helps improve the ranking of the domestic shrimp industry on the world map.

– Secondly, thanks to the shrimp selective breeding program, Vietnamese people themselves can work on the shrimp genome on a large scale, identifying and preserving the finest genes, developing valuable traits for future generations of parent shrimps. As a result, we can introduce more outstanding generations of shrimp stocks into the marketplace.

Currently, the new generation of high-tech shrimp VUS LEADER 21 can grow 10% faster than before, adapt better, resist stronger to diseases and overall present higher quality, which has helped farmers improve profit and crop efficiency.

Abuse of antibiotics and excessive antibiotic residue in shrimp and seafood are an existential problem of Vietnam’s industry. This problem not only affect the health of domestic consumers for generations, but also creates a bad reputation when exporting, especially to strictly controlled markets such as Japan, the U.S., and Europe. Vietnamese shrimp brand has been negatively regarded, resulting in lower export value and slimmer profit margin for farmers.

Therefore, not only does Viet Uc have the generations of high-tech shrimp seed, the company is also the group that initiated the “Sustainable VUS” shrimp farming model, calling for completely antibiotic-free shrimp farming, even during the first phases of the cycle. The letter “S” in “VUS” stands for Sustainability.

This is a high-tech microbial culture model with two processing options: Biofloc and Probiotic. After the initial hesitant response as it is not easy to immediately change the habit that has been ingrained in shrimp farming for so long, the “Sustainable VUS” model has been being widely applied among farmers.

Moreover, apart from being antibiotics-free, “Sustainable VUS” also saves water, minimizes the amount of water exchanges and protects the environment.

These innovative shrimp farming systems do not need to exchange the water daily and discharge it directly into the environment like a long-standing practice, as the water is changed only a few times during a farming season, coupled with an environmental-friendly wastewater treatment system.

Within the Viet Uc Seafood Corporation, each high-tech commercial shrimp farming complex is a work of art done in harmony with the natural landscape. Viet Uc Nha Mat (Bac Lieu) and Viet Uc Phu My (Binh Dinh) are examples of this harmony.

Viet Uc Seafood Corporation not only brings the Perfect Shrimp to the dining table of consumers in Vietnam and around the world, without the use of antibiotics, securing food safety and traceability, but also always accompanies the community.

In an interview on the occasion the corporation celebrating an important milestone of 20 years – The journey for Vietnamese people – Raising the standard for Vietnamese shrimp, Luong Thanh Van, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Viet Uc Seafood Corporation, shared:

“In the context of the complicated Covid-19 situation, we would like to use the 20th anniversary budget to support more urgent and meaningful activities for the community. In particular, not only contributing to the Covid-19 fund in the localities, the company has directly shared with the community, especially the unsung heroes who are volunteers, frontline doctors and nurses. This is an honor for all employees of the corporation.”

More than 4 tons of shrimp from the Viet Uc High-Tech Shrimp Production Complex in Bac Lieu has been delivered by the Viet-Uc team directly to each household, each neighborhood and the Zero-Dong Market. This is a very meaningful contribution, not only providing quality meals for the people but also sharing the love and humanitarian values.

In this Covid-19 fight, hospitals and frontline medical workers with silent sacrifices deserve to be cared for and supported, in order to give more encouragement in the fight against the pandemic together with the community.
Therefore, Viet Uc has directly contacted each hospital in HCMC, Bac Lieu, Soc Trang, Ca Mau, Binh Dinh and Ninh Thuan to know more about the essential demand of the hospitals, thereby timely and realistically donating medical equipment such as High Flow Oxygen Ventilators (HFNC) from Fisher & Paykel (New Zealand) to these localities.

Specifically, in HCMC as the biggest Covid-19 hotspot, Viet Uc has donated the Biomed Devices intensive multi-function ventilator (the U.S.). This TV-100 model of ICU ventilator provide vital support, not only for critical Covid-19 patients but also in many different emergencies.

Additionally, medical gears such as 3M masks and level-3 protective suits for the medical staff who interact directly with Covid-19 cases, which are very necessary at this time, have also been given to hospitals in these provinces.

Twenty years is just the beginning, the Journey for the Vietnamese people – Raising the standard for Vietnamese shrimp has been still going on and the community activities will continue to reach other parts of the country.

These meaningful activities will spread further and contribute to the country’s efforts to overcome the challenge of Covid-19 soon.

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