Icy treat for panda stars’ birthday in Dutch zoo

Millions of hens may need to be culled in the Netherlands after traces of a potentially harmful insecticide were found in eggs, a Dutch farming group said, ratcheting up the strain on a sector still reeling from a bird flu outbreak. Freshly laid eggs are pictured at a poultry farm in Lunteren, Netherlands August 7, 2017. Retailers in several European countries have pulled millions of eggs from supermarket shelves as the scare over the use of insecticide fipronil widened, though Dutch industry group LTO said consumers were no longer at risk. "For consumers this is pretty much over, but that is not the case for the farmers. It will take weeks if not months before they can resume production," LTO's Johan Boonen said. The World Health Organization considers fipronil to be moderately toxic and says very large quantities can cause organ damage. Dutch and Belgian authorities have pinned the source of the insecticide to a supplier of cleaning products in the Netherlands. Farmers in the Netherlands have already culled hundreds of thousands of hens in the wake of the fipronil scare but they can only regain market access once there are no traces of the insecticide in their eggs. The latest health scare follows a bird flu epidemic that swept northern Europe late last year and forced poultry farmers to cull flocks as well. LTO, the Dutch Federation of Agriculture and Horticulture, said 150 Dutch companies had been closed because traces of the insecticide had been found. The size of…... [read more]

BRUSSELS: Britain and France said on Monday (Aug 7) that some insecticide-tainted eggs may have entered the country, as millions of chickens faced being culled in the Netherlands in a growing European contamination scandal. German authorities have stepped up testing of residue on eggs since it emerged an insecticide dangerous for human consumption was used on chickens in the Netherlands and Belgium. (AFP/Guido Kirchner) Belgium meanwhile vowed full transparency about why it kept the scandal secret despite originally learning in June about the problem involving fipronil, a substance potentially dangerous to humans. Supermarkets in Germany, the Netherlands and Belgium have pulled millions of eggs from the shelves since Belgium gave the European Commission the first notification on Jul 20, while retailers in Sweden and Switzerland have followed suit. The Commission said on Monday that under its EU rapid alert system it had been determined that eggs under suspicion of contamination had also been distributed to France and Britain via Germany. "It's now up to the Swedish, Swiss, French and to the UK to check because all these eggs are traceable and trackable," European Commission spokeswoman Anna-Kaisa Itkonen told reporters. Britain's Food Standards Agency said it was "urgently investigating the distribution of these eggs in the UK" from farms at the centre of the scare, while adding that "the number of eggs involved is very small and the risk to public health is…... [read more]

Lao officials visit Vinamilk plant (Source: VNA) Hanoi (VNA) – Visiting Lao officials have expressed their hope that the Vietnam Dairy Products JSC Company (Vinamilk) will consider seeking opportunities to extend investment in and exports to Laos. Head of the Lao Party Central Committee’s Commission for Propaganda and Training and President of the Lao Academy of Social Science Kikeo Khaykhamphithoune expressed the hope while visiting the Vietnam Dairy Products JSC Company (Vinamilk) in the southern province of Binh Duong recently.  Vinamilk Executive Director Bui Thi Huong briefed the Lao guests about the firm’s business operations, including exports. Lying on the site of 20ha at My Phuoc 2 industrial zone, Vinamilk’s Mega is the largest dairy manufacturing plant in the country. With a total cost of 2.4 trillion VND (104.3 million USD), it has a designed capacity of 1.2 million litres per day in the first stage. The figure will double to 2.4 million litres per day in the second stage. With a closed and automated production line, its manufacturing process meets GMP and stringent international standards on food quality and hygiene and environment protection. Vinamilk now boasts 13 farms across the country with cows imported from Australia, the US and New Zealand, which are the first in Southeast Asia to meet Global GAP practices. Its organic milch cow farm in the Central Highlands city of Da Lat, inaugurated in March 2017, is the first one in Vietnam…... [read more]

Key farm produce has raked in almost US$11 billion, up 18% against last year. Coffee and cashew nut exports showed  stable growth in the period, while vegetable and fruit exports moved up to the third ranking behind aquatic products and forestry products. By mid-July, fruit and vegetable exports totaled more than US$1.8 billion, of which fruit exports made up a majority. Blue dragon exports topped the list making up half of the total fruit export value.  Litchi exports recorded a remarkable growth. Bac Giang province, a center of litchi production, has improved the quality of the local specialty to penetrate demanding markets like the US, the EU, Japan, the Republic of Korea, and Australia.  Truong Van Thai, Deputy Chairman of Bac Giang’s People’s Committee, says: “To avoid a common problem – falling prices when farmers produce a bumper crop - Bac Giang has zoned litchi-growing areas covering between 29,000 and 30,000 hectares. It has also increased the application of technology and safe production techniques, improved product quality, and studied consumer markets. Bac Giang has stepped up trade promotion, sought new markets, and linked processing and distribution to stabilize output and prices.” So far this year, Vietnam has shipped nearly 15,000 tons of fresh litchi to China and another 13 tons were exported to Australia. Since early July, Luc Ngan litchi has been available in supermarkets in Thailand, one of the 5 largest fruit exporters in the world. Tran Thanh Hai, Deputy…... [read more]

NDO – Vegetables and fruit continue to be a bright spot in the field of agricultural exports during the first seven months of 2017. According to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD), the total export value of agricultural, forestry and fishery products reached US$20.45 billion during the Jan-Jul period, in which fruits and vegetables alone accounted for US$2.03 billion, an increase of 49% over the same period in 2016. Amongst the top ten Vietnamese agro-forestry and fishery exports during the last seven months, vegetables and fruits ranked fourth in export value and with this momentum in growth, by the end of 2017, they could surpass coffee to occupy third position, following seafood and furniture products, which now earn an export value of US$4.3 billion and US$4.2 billion, respectively. Notably, after the first nine months of 2016, fruits and vegetables had earned US$1.68 billion in export value, surpassing rice and just behind coffee and cashew nuts. This year, after seven months, their export value exceeded cashew nuts and stands just slightly lower than coffee, with over US$2 billion. Not only recording growth in value, on the market expansion level, Vietnamese vegetables and fruit have also created a great position in the international market as the items are present in many countries and territories across the globe; many of which require products of high quality, such as the US, Japan, the Republic of Korea, and European countries, such as Germany and the Netherlands. It is noteworthy that…... [read more]

Harvesting coffee in Dak Lak (Source: VNA)   Dak Lak (VNA) – The Central Highlands province of Dak Lak has attracted many official development assistance (ODA) and foreign direct investment (FDI) projects as well as non-governmental assistance, including funds from the Republic of Korea (RoK). The provincial Department of Planning and Investment reported that Dak Lak now houses three ODA projects valued at a total 12.5 million USD funded by the Korea International Cooperation Agency. Two other projects worth 47.3 million USD cover food, cosmetics and medicine production and solar power. Dak Lak recently held an investment promotion seminar in the RoK’s Joellabuk province with more than 40 businesses participating. During the seminar, Solarpark Global I&D of the RoK inked a memorandum of understanding with Dak Lak on a solar power project, and asked for the province’s licence to carry out another project worth 45 million USD. RoK firms have also invested in education, water supply and waste collection and treatment in Dak Lak. Such projects have helped the locality improve its infrastructure and reduce poverty, especially in remote, far-flung and ethnic minority-inhabited areas. The province wants RoK investments in high-tech agriculture, with priority given to projects in Ea Kpam commune and Ea Pok town in Cu Mgar district, and Ea Tu and Hoa Xuan communes in Buon Ma Thuot city. In the first six months of this year, Dak Lak lured 29 investment…... [read more]

Those remaining undecided over where to go this weekend should consider the following sites in HCMC for entertainment, shopping and food. Nguyen Van Binh Book Street (Ben Nghe Ward, District 1, HCMC) Nguyen Van Binh book street, adjacent to the landmark Central Post Office in downtown HCMC, is where bookworms come to find new books or have a cup of coffee on the weekend.  But this week visitors can watch a classical music performance by a group of high-school students who are currently active in the “Classics On The Go” Group from 10 a.m. until noon this Sunday.  Sharing the same passion for classical music, the students come from Tran Dai Nghia High School for the Gifted in District 1, HCMC. HCMC Conservatory of Music (112 Nguyen Du Street, District 1, HCMC) The award-winning Notos Quartet from Germany will stage a special concert at the HCMC Conservatory of Music on August 5, according to the Goethe Institute in HCMC. The event is expected to feature masterpieces by Mozart, Schubert, Brahms, Mahler, and legendary Austrian violinist Fritz Kreisler, among others. Since its inception in 2007, the quartet has won the 2011 Parkhouse Award in London, first prize at the 2016 Schoenfeld International String Competition in China, and first prize at the 2017 International Chamber Music Competition Almere in the Netherlands.  The concert is jointly held by the the Goethe Institute in HCMC and the HCMC Conservatory of Music.   Tickets are now on available at https://ticketbox.vn/event/viennese-melange-65901/41898, with prices ranging from VND250,000…... [read more]

Saigon Chamber Music Festival set to start this SaturdayHoang The Phong The fourth season of the Saigon Chamber Music Festival will take place from August 5 to 13 in HCMC, featuring the the award-winning Notos Quartet in Germany - PHOTO: COURTESY OF THE ORGANIZER The fourth season of the Saigon Chamber Music Festival will take place from August 5 to 13 at the HCMC Conservatory of Music in District 1. Organized by the Transposition Program in collaboration with HCMC Conservatory of Music and Goethe Institut Vietnam, the festival is aimed at helping inspire young local artists to learn and improve their knowledge and skills. The organizer says in a statement yesterday that 30 young musicians from HCMC, Hanoi and Malaysia have been chosen to participate in the week-long festival featuring four members of the award-winning Notos Quartet in Germany including violinist Sindri Lederer, viola artist Andrea Burger, cellist Philip Graham and pianist Antonia Köster. A highlight of the festival is a series of workshops at 4.30 p.m. from August 6 to 10 where participants can learn to build their own performance style and music development targets with the assistance of the Notos Quartet and local popular pianist Nguyen Bich Tra. A concert called “Young Virtuosos” to wrap up the Saigon Chamber Music event will be held  at 8 p.m. on August 11 at the HCMC Conservatory of Music in District 1, providing an opportunity for music talent to showcase what they have learned from the festival.   Set up in…... [read more]

Nguyen Van Binh Book Street (Ben Nghe Ward, District 1, HCMC) Nguyen Van Binh book street, adjacent to the landmark Central Post Office in downtown HCMC, is where bookworms come to find new books or have a cup of coffee on the weekend.  But this week visitors can watch a classical music performance by a group of high-school students who are currently active in the “Classics On The Go” Group from 10 a.m. until noon this Sunday.  Sharing the same passion for classical music, the students come from Tran Dai Nghia High School for the Gifted in District 1, HCMC. HCMC Conservatory of Music (112 Nguyen Du Street, District 1, HCMC) The award-winning Notos Quartet from Germany will stage a special concert at the HCMC Conservatory of Music on August 5, according to the Goethe Institute in HCMC. The event is expected to feature masterpieces by Mozart, Schubert, Brahms, Mahler, and legendary Austrian violinist Fritz Kreisler, among others. Since its inception in 2007, the quartet has won the 2011 Parkhouse Award in London, first prize at the 2016 Schoenfeld International String Competition in China, and first prize at the 2017 International Chamber Music Competition Almere in the Netherlands.  The concert is jointly held by the the Goethe Institute in HCMC and the HCMC Conservatory of Music.   Tickets are now on available at https://ticketbox.vn/event/viennese-melange-65901/41898, with prices ranging from VND250,000 to VND300,000. CGV Hung Vuong Plaza (126 Hung Vuong Street, District 5, HCMC) …... [read more]

Seeing the rising demand for tapioca in Vietnam and the world, DAWU Corporation brought into operation five member tapioca production companies in Vietnam to unlock potential in this lucrative market and expand into the world. Consistently increasing added value for cassava To meet the huge market demand, DAWU has operated five member tapioca production companies: Truong Hung Co., Ltd, Truong Thinh Co., Ltd., Viet Ma Co., Ltd, Wusons Manufacturing Trading Co., Ltd and Nuoc Trong Joint Stock Company. After a long period of continuous technological development, these units are now rated the best tapioca producers in Vietnam, powered by cutting-edge technological systems imported from Germany and the Netherlands to reduce energy consumption, ensure environmental protection and enhance human health. Its production facilities are capable of turning out 300 tonnes of tapioca, 120 tonnes of modified tapioca and 100 tonnes of tapioca residues a day, and all are operated according to ISO 9001:2008 quality management standards. Being superior in quality, good for human health, DAWU tapioca products not only dominate the domestic market, but are also exported to many countries such as South Korea, the United Kingdom, Japan. China, Indonesia, the Philippines, Australia and Singapore. Its annual revenue has exceeded US$100 million and is expected to top US$300 million soon. However, DAWU Corporation also faced numerous hardships on general market demand. Although cassava is considered a poverty-ending crop in Tay Ninh province, farmers use traditional cultivating methods which are proven not to bring maximum productivity. Seeing domestic and…... [read more]




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