AFCD and FMO will establish a brand name of "Accredited Fish Farm" for the quality assured aquaculture products from "registered farms" to highlight the quality and safety of local aquaculture products. FMO will identify buyers through its trading network to market aquaculture products under the "Accredited Fish Farm" brand name. AFCD in conjunction with FMO will organize publicity events and participate in exhibitions and trade shows to promote the "Accredited Fish Farm Scheme" and the new brand name.
To join the accredited fish farm scheme, fish farms must first meet a series of culture conditions and management standards before they are given the status of "registered farm". As to culture conditions and management practices, fish farmers may refer to the series of booklets on Good Aquaculture Practices published by AFCD. The basic management requirements include:
Under the accredited fish farm scheme, participating farms need to meet a set of good aquaculture practices and hygiene standards, and to follow a predefined management regime. The Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department (AFCD) will administer the accredited fish farm scheme; carry out farm inspections and provide necessary technical support. Regular monitoring will be conducted throughout the culture period. Before marketing of fish, quality assurance tests will be performed and products with satisfactory results can be marketed under the unique brand name of the scheme.
Accredited vegetables are marketed in the VMO. They are easily identified with special sales memos which can facilitate and promote the marketing of the produce. To increase the public awareness of the accredited produce, a Good Farmer image has been used since 1998 to publicize the accredited vegetables. Publicity is also made at the accredited retailers to ease its identification by the public. In addition, territory-wide promotion events and educational activities are held to promote and stimulate the market demand for accredited vegetables. Both the vegetable retailers and the consumers support the scheme and the daily throughput of accredited vegetables can be up to 65 metric tones.
Accredited farmers have to follow the guidelines in the Accredited Farmer's Handbook and other regulations of the scheme and allow inspections of their farms by AFCD. The operation of the accredited farms are closely monitored with samples of vegetables, soil, irrigation water and pesticides taken for analysis of pesticide/heavy metal residues. New cultivation techniques and other technical support are also provided to accredited farms.
The Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department and the Vegetable Marketing Organization have jointly run the Accredited Farm Scheme since 1994. The scheme aims at promoting the adoption of good horticultural practice and environmental friendly production. Integrated pest management and proper use of pesticides are emphasized with a view to ensure production of quality vegetables that are safe for consumption. The scheme thus safeguards the public health and benefits the farming community.